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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Monday, June 25, 2012

Wild Boar Tenderloin with Cherry Chutney

Sometimes things I cook are just for sustenance - nothing fancy. Sometimes things don't turn out as planned. But sometimes I cook something and I'm just amazed by how well it turns out.  This is one of those times.

When we travel to the Niagara Region to visit family, we often stop at a little place called Lakeland Meats that sells a variety of frozen game meats. They even have game burgers on the grill on summer weekends.  We like game meats and they're not easy to find, so we pick them up when we can.  On our most recent trip we picked up elk steaks, duck breasts and wild boar tenderloin.

I enjoy fruit with game.  I find the sweetness compliments the meaty flavour of the game meats.  So what better than in-season local cherries to serve with the meat?  I used this recipe from Epicurious, just substituting the boar tenderloin for the pork.  I highly recommend trying this with either meat. Pork is much cheaper and easier to find and would be just as delicious.  

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • Wild boar or pork tenderloin
  • 2 cups fresh cherries
  • 1 onion
  • Cherry preserves or jam 
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Allspice
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt & black pepper

The wild boar tenderloin is very similar to pork. The meat has a redder colour and a bit more flavour, but you could easily substitute pork tenderloin.  Trim any fat or silverskin from the tenderloin before seasoning. 

First, make the glaze by mixing 3/4 cup cherry preserves...

...with 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 3/4 tsp ground allspice.

Stir together and set aside 1/4 cup to glaze the meat on the grill.

Next, the fresh cherries.

Pit the cherries. If you have a cherry pitter, this is a breeze.  You can also smash them with a knife and remove the pit, but I chose the slow way of slicing them in half like an avocado and removing the pit.

You need 2 cups of pitted fresh cherries.

Next, dice one onion.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and saute the onion for about a minute.

Add the cherries, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and the cherry preserve mixture.

Bring to a boil and simmer about 8 minutes until thick.  Add salt to taste.

Ideally, a partner can be grilling the meat while you make the chutney. If not, grill it once the chutney is done and reheat the chutney when the meat is cooked. 

Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper.

Grill over high heat until browned, then lower heat or move to cooler part of the grill and cook until done, about 15-20 minutes, brushing with the reserved cherry glaze every few minutes.

Once cooked through to about 145 F, remove from grill and let rest, covered with foil for about 10 minutes.

Slice the tenderloin. 

Then top with the warm cherry chutney.

I served this with basmati and wild rice and asparagus.

The cherry chutney is amazing. I wouldn't normally think to use allspice but it adds a warmth to the fruit and the bit of spice from the cayenne pepper makes this an amazing dish. It is very easy so there's no excuse!  You don't need a special occasion wild boar tenderloin.  Pork would be just as delicious.  With fresh cherries in season, you've gotta try this!

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