Friday, July 24, 2009

Wild boar chop with fennel pollen, flageolet beans with rosemary, and grilled asparagus

This dish continues my quest to clear out as much of my pantry and freezer as possible before we move to Chicago. 9 days to go, and so many more items left. For this meal, I cleared out some flageolet beans that had been sitting in the pantry for ages and a bag full of chicken bones that had been sitting in the freezer. Often, I buy whole chickens and part them out at home so I can keep the bones for stock. This is one of those things that is a good idea that is only rarely executed on, so I had a whole bunch of bones for stock that I needed to put to use. I used the bones, along with some carrots and celary that were sitting in the fridge, to make a really strong chicken stock. After soaking them overnight, I cooked the flageolet beans in the chicken stock along with some crushed garlic and a couple sprigs of rosemary (from a plant on the back porch that I'm also trying to get a lot of use out of). Most of the effort went into making the boring starch and, as usual, I turned to Cambridge's excellent food purveyors to make the rest of the meal interesting. Wild boar chops came from Savenor's and fennel pollen came from Formaggio. Fennel pollen is tough to track down, but if you ever come across it, buy it. I can't think of a better thing to season pork with. It's amazing stuff. Here's the recipe. As usual, it's for 2 servings.

-1.5 cups dried flageolet beans
-3 qt chicken stock
-2 sprigs of rosemary
-2 crushed garlic cloves
-1 minced shallot

-2 wild boar chops
-fennel pollen

-cayanne pepper

-salt, pepper, olive oil.

Soak the flageolet beans in water for a day.
In a medium pot, saute minced shallots and crushed garlic clove over medium heat for about five minutes or until the shallots become translucent. Add the soaked beans and chicken stock. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, and then return to medium heat. Add two sprigs of rosemary. It's best if you wrap the rosemary in some cheesecloth so the needles don't fall off and get mixed in with everything else.
Let the beans simmer for a looooonnnng time (a few hours). Flageolet beans have a really firm texture, and they take forever to soften up. Over the course of the cooking period, the stock will reduce. Add water to keep things from drying out. (Note: flageolet beans are usually a light green color, but the stock gives them a dark brown color in the picture above.)
Once the beans are done, keep the pot simmering over low heat and prep everything else. For the asparagus, break off the tough part at the bottom of the stem, dress with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayanne powder. Season the boar chops with salt and pepper and a dash of oil.
Cook the asparagus on a grill pan over medium high heat until done. For the boar chops, heat a cast iron skillet, griddle, or stainless steel pan to a super high heat (give the pan at least 5 minutes over the flame before starting to cook). Sear the boar chops for two to three minutes on each side. Remove from the heat after a nice crust has formed and sprinkle a little fennel pollen on each side and finish in the oven at 350F until done. The cooking time will depend on how big the cuts are. You can check by using a thermometer or just checking the consistency of the meat after two to three minutes and every minute thereafter. For the chops I was dealing with, I just needed another two minutes in the oven.

No comments: