We've already established I'm a giant nerd. We all know how much I love to read, and how much I love tv/movies. So is it any surprise that, like half of the world, I am obsessed with George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones?
Of course not. As a writer, I am amazed at his ability to weave so many characters' stories together in a cohesive, yet always surpassing way. And who can help but admire the cohenes it takes to kill off so many of the main characters? The result is that us, the reader, the avid watcher, is left on the edge of our seat. Because we cannot trust the man to protect our favorite characters, and so we become overly invested in their fictional lives.
But enough rambling. For the series premier in March, Kevin and I made a giant Game of Thrones meal to celebrate the show's return. We visited the public market in downtown Rochester, where we were able to procure a wild boar mini roast.
And unless you're Robert Boratheon, I'm pretty confident you'll enjoy this meal.
The recipe was adapted from the amazing cookbook, A feast of ice and fire, which Martin has even endorsed as being incredible. The original recipe called for 4 boar tenderloins, but since we only had our boar roast, we made do.
You will need:
- 1 wild boar mini roast (about 1.5 pounds)
- 2/3 cup red wine
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider or white grape juice
- 2 teaspoons poudre forte (see below)
- 15-20 whole cloves
Poudre forte, or "strong powder," is a clovey spice mix used in the middle ages. Again, Kevin and I had to adapt the recipe because some ingredients (like grains of paradise) weren't easy to come by.
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp grains of paradise (optional)
To start, open up a bottle of Game of Thrones beer, or make yourself some spiced cider (I'll share that recipe later) and mix up your marinade. Combine the wine, vinegar, and cider with 1 teaspoon of the poudre forte, and marinate the boar for several hours to overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 300.
Pour the marinade into a saucepan and set it aside for later. Using a paring knife, cut small holes into the meat and shove whole cloves into it. You'll see them sticking out a little. Since we were cooking a roast, instead of the tenderloins as the recipe used, we seared each side of the roast using a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once it had a decent crust, we sprinkled the remainder of the poudre forte over the meat, pressing it down so that it stuck.
Then we lined a roasting pan with foil and baked that sucker for what felt like forever, and was probably close to two hours. We used a low temperature to roast it slowly, snacking on bread and cheese while we waited.
The bread is homemade as well, and that recipe is also forthcoming. Hopefully I post it before he finishes the sixth book, amiright?
When the boar is done, the internal temp should be between 155-160 degrees. Set it aside and cover it to keep it warm. Pour the juices from the pan into the saucepan containing the marinade and simmer for 15 minutes, or until it has reduced slightly.
I took a bunch of asparagus, quartered a yellow onion, and tossed them on a baking sheet with oil, balsamic, lemon, garlic, and apple cider vinegar, to make an acidic side dish that nicely complimented the sweet and spicy flavor of the boar.
We felt pretty cool, eating our wild game, breaking off hunks of homemade bread, cutting slices of cheese with a big scary knife, using the bread to soak up the marinade that got all over our plates...while we watched Doctor Who...
That's right, we cooked this on the Saturday night before season three of Game of Thrones premiered, so that we could enjoy it together before he had to leave to drive back to Schenectady.
But if you're a total dork like we are, and enjoy slaving over a hot oven for hours to create an authentic meal from the middle ages, you should probably buy this cookbook. Or just find a cut of wild meat and wing it.