MILK BRAISED WILD BOAR

Zach Walker All Recipes

Milk Braised Wild Boar


In our Wild Boar Test Kitchen, Jade and Liv tried different cooking techniques for bone-in wild boar legs. Drawing inspiration from a classic Italian recipe, maiale al latte (pork in milk), Liv used part of a de-boned leg. The results were incredibly tasty (so much so that we couldn’t resist scooping and eating some of the sauce straight from the pan!). The meat, unfortunately, was dry. So we refined this recipe to use either boneless shoulders or hindshanks. These cuts have a bit more fat and connective tissue that breaks down during cooking, yielding more tender and moist results.

“I was inspired by our talk about whether you should treat boar like pork or like game. I’ve used this recipe before for pork. I think cubing the leg would be better, so all parts are able to be submerged in the fatty cooking liquid. This recipe was very good, but ultimately not ideal. I think it would have worked better with shoulder or all shanks.”Liv
Servings: 6-8
wine DRINK PAIRING
Pinot Noir

There are lots of variations on this classic recipe: some versions include sage or rosemary, lemon peel or garlic, white wine, a glug of heavy cream or even bacon. We kept our version simple to test the process and let the flavor of the wild boar shine. This recipe requires patience and a close watch — you want the milk to caramelize into a delicious nutty and toasty sauce, but it can quickly end up burnt if you don’t keep an eye on it. The recipe might feel counterintuitive at times, but the results are well worth it! A thick, cozy and comforting sauce that envelopes tender, ever-so-slightly sweet meat.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 ½ lb Boneless Wild Boar Shoulder or Hindshanks
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Optional: 2oz Bacon or Pancetta, chopped (2-3 slices, depending on thickness)
  • 2 ½ cups (or more) Whole Milk
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1

Start with a small to medium-sized heavy bottomed pot (like a Dutch oven) that’s just big enough for the leg (or other chosen cuts) to fit snuggly.
2

If using bacon or pancetta, cook until the pieces are crispy and the fat has rendered.
3

Pour off most of the fat, keeping 2-3 tablespoons in the pot. Add extra oil if needed, or heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat until the butter stops foaming (if you’re not using the bacon fat).
4

Add the boar and brown on all sides.
5

Season with salt and pepper and very slowly add one cup of milk to prevent it from boiling over. Let the milk bubble for about 30 seconds, then reduce the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar.
6

Watch closely to see if you need to adjust the temperature. The liquid should be very, very gently simmering. (“Like champagne bubbles,” says Liv. “A few small bubbles here and there.”)
7

Turn the boar occasionally and cook for about an hour until the sauce is mostly evaporated and thickened to nut brown clusters. The bacon fat will render during cooking, so you may need to tilt the pan around to see the milk and clusters past the layer of fat. Don’t skim the fat!

“It seems counterintuitive. It seems silly to have so much fat in the pan. This is a very old Italian recipe, so who knows if there’s a reason or if this is just how it has always been done, but it will all work out in the end.”

– Liv

8

Slowly add another cup of milk, turning the meat again and stirring the sauce. Scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure there are no milk clusters stuck that might burn.
9

Cook for 30 minutes, turning occasionally with the lid slightly ajar. When all the liquid has evaporated and thickened again, add the remaining half cup of milk.
10

Continue cooking until the boar is tender when poked with a fork and all of the milk has thickened to dark clusters.

11

Remove the boar to a cutting boar and let it rest for a few minutes.
12

Skim or pour off most of the fat (surprisingly, there shouldn’t be much), making sure to leave the darkened milk clusters. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and stir, scraping the browned bits on the bottom. Whisk if desired to emulsify the sauce (it won’t completely emulsify, but should appear thick and creamy, like gravy).
13

Remove the butcher’s twine, if you used it, and thinly slice the boar. Spoon the sauce over the boar.
14

Serve with broccolini, sautéed kale or another bright slightly bitter green, and polenta or potatoes.