Aromatic milk-braised wild boar

This recipe features in the April/May edition of Hampshire Life magazine with wine matches from The knackered Mother’s Wine Club.

The last twelve months has been a time to rejoice in small luxuries, especially where food is concerned. We started buying unpasteurised milk from Hiltonbury Jerseys this time last year. The tiny self-service farm shop, with it’s milk vending machine was a god-send in the first lockdown and we still visit at least once a week.

Later in the year, I discovered the Farmer’s Butcher, another small but perfectly formed farm shop nestled within Swallowfield Farm. The farm is home to New Forest Wild Boar which deserves to be recognised as a true delicacy of the county.

This recipe may sound unorthodox, but it’s a traditional cooking method for pork in Northern Italy. The milk keeps the boar deliciously tender, while reducing down into a decadently creamy sauce.

Aromatic milk-braised wild boar

Serves 6 – 8

  • 1.5 kg wild boar shoulder, boned and rolled
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 litre whole jersey milk
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed
  • 1 lemon, zest pared with a vegetable peeler
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a big sprig of sage
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (130 fan) | 300°F | gas 2.
  2. Season the boar all over with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a frying pan, then colour the meat on all sides.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the milk to a simmer in a large lidded casserole dish with the spring onions, lemon zest, bay leaves, sage, cinnamon and a big pinch of salt.
  4. Add the pork, then put on the lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours 30 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to 200°C (180 fan) | 400°F | gas 6, then remove the lid and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Transfer the boar to a warm serving dish. Discard the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and lemon zest, then spoon off most of the fat from the top of the cooking liquid. Use a stick blender to emulsify the sauce.
  7. To serve, cut through and remove the string and slice away the skin in one piece – it’s kept the meat beautifully succulent and can now be discarded. Cut the meat into slices and ladle the sauce over the top. New potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli would make a great accompaniment at this time of year.

Don’t be put off by the initial appearance when it comes out of the oven – it is undeniably a sea of lumpy beige! If you don’t have a stick blender, you can ladle the sauce into a liquidiser (after you’ve skimmed off the fat and removed the herbs, etc) and it’ll soon turn into a silky smooth elixir.

Featured producers

New Forest Wild Boar – Swallowfields Farm

Bramshaw, 01794 322686

Jersey milk – Hiltonbury Jerseys

Compton (just outside Winchester), 07866 329750

Spring onions – T&V Vegetable Gardens

Godalming, 07523 644245

find them at Hampshire Farmers’ Markets

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