Prep time 1hr 20 mins
Saddle of wild boar (3.5/4.5 kg)
10 juniper berries
2 heads garlic, split in half
150 g lardo di colonnata (thinly sliced)
6 shallots, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 tsp. paprika
30 ml oil
Cracked black pepper
For the sauce
1.5 ltrs chicken stock
2 shallots, finely chopped
150 ml port
150 ml Madeira
Sprig of thyme
50g dark chocolate (75%)
Butter to finish
Soak the juniper berries in warm water for five minutes to soften. Trim the saddle top from any excess fat and sinew, season with paprika, salt and pepper. In a roasting tray heat the oil and sear the meat to get a nice deep golden-brown caramelisation, remove from the tray and allow to cool slightly. Layer the top with the lardo to cover the loins; the fat will render during the roasting to baste and moisten the meat.
Return the tray to the flame and add the shallots, carrots and celery and cook down. The veg will act as a resting bed for the saddle and will later become part of the sauce. Return the saddle to the roasting tray add the garlic and the juniper berries together with the soaking liquid.
Place in a pre-heated oven at 185 degrees for forty-five minutes to one hour, basting frequently to keep the meat moist. Probe the meat to ensure that the core reaches 52 degrees C., remove from the oven and cover, allowing to rest for fifteen minutes. As it rests the core will heat up by a couple of degrees.
For the sauce
Return the tray to the stove and add the chicken stock, scraping the pan as you bring it to a boil. Strain through a fine sieve to remove all the bits.
In a clean pot, heat the oil and cook down the shallots without colouring, season with salt and pepper. Add the port and Madeira and reduce to a syrup consistency, pour in the hot stock and add the thyme. Simmer over a low flame to get the desired consistency, skimming the surface as impurities gather, to ensure a clear and glossy sauce.
When the sauce has thickened, strain and whisk in the cold butter, do not boil.
In this recipe chef cooked whole parsnips and cauliflower roasted in the oven with spices, butter and olive oil to accompany the wild boar.