Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pig In Three Fruits

This photo is a couple of months old, but I have to talk about the dish.
It's wild pig.
Which I did not shoot myself; in fact, it's raised in captivity. There must be some logical logic in there; find it!
The pork, which we bought at the local farmers market, is not terribly gamey.
But what I want to brag about is the braising liquid.
I live in the House of Three Fruits. At a certain time of year, all three fruit trees (pear, plum and orange) share a ripe stage.
The pears are late summer; the plums are slightly later summer; the oranges — surprise to me; I thought they were a winter crop — can last on the tree well into July, and the fruit will happily survive in the fridge for another month or so. I've concluded it's a variety called "summer navel." It's the tastiest orange I've ever had, and I'm not even huge on oranges. I love them.
Oh, one more fruit tree factlet: The plums (green gage, I believe) make the best prunes ever. I still have about five little prunes from last summer, and we've already dried bags and bags of them from this year.
So for this braise of "wild" pig, we used pureed pear pulp, squeezed orange juice, a handful of fresh plums and a handful of prunes. A splash of champagne for liquidity. (And then the usual seasonings, alliums, can't remember it all. Tinker to taste. We served it over rice.)
Verdict: Wow. Fruit is the tenderizer. Always cook your wild pig in fruit, if you can.
Ha ha. If you have wild pig.


Dagny said...

I see today's theme is fruit and pig.

One of the guy's at work went hunting last weekend. He only got a deer though, no wild pig this time. He tried to explain the difference between wild pig and the domestic ones but I think my mind took a little vacation that day.

Sam said...

Hmm - when you check the Happy in the Kitchen book for the Leek tartare, you might also want to check the foie gras brulee recipe as amusement. It's just come into the back of my mind - it has oranges in it and some other fruits but I can't recall exactly.

Can't wait to see you later!

the italian dish said...

Wow, no kidding. Interesting. We all know apples and pork go together, but your combination is different. I'll have to try that.

Nik Snacks said...

prunes (or dried plums, as their called in certain social circles, pears, & oranges. IS that right? I don't know about wild pig, but I'm sure I could conjure up a few pigs ready for slaughter.

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny: I'm sure I was channeling you. Fruit and pig is such a natural.
I'm guessing that "wild pig" is captured boar raised on a farm. Hm.

Sam: Oh wow. I am known to melt foie gras. Melt.

I Dish: I truly believe any fruit is beguiling with pork.

Nikki: Ha ha. We can't call them prunes anymore, can we? Darn publicity board.

kudzu said...

How does "wild pig raised on a farm" measure up to wild boar from the -- wilds? I adore the latter and it's just about boar time of year.

Remember being terrified when a couple of wild things ran across a clearing on a hilltop in Mendo where I was sitting. They weren't interested in me at all but I went back and sat in my car until my husband came back from a photo shoot. I was too scared to even think of ragu.

The Spiteful Chef said...

When Chris and I went for our crazy-long run, we heard some rustling in the bush off to our right on the first leg of our journey. I sped up, certain it was a wild boar getting ready to gore us, or worse, a hobo. I ran so fast I almost made myself sick on the second mile of our journey. On the way back, after 10 more miles, I heard the rustling again but was far, far too tired to run away. Hell, I was almost praying for death at that point. As we passed, and I swear to God I'm not making this up, a freaking CHICKEN ran out of the bush at us. In the middle of nowhere on a winding road. I looked for a farm and saw none, leading me to believe this was an elusive wild chicken. About 30 minutes later I was at Chili's eating that Godawful chicken crisper platter I wrote about. True story.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: It didn't much resemble the stringy wild boar I've had. This was pale and tender. Can't tell you how much the tenderness came from the fruit treatment, though. I would eat it again.
I had a friend some time back who walked around with a loaded .36 because of wild boars. I don't blame you for hiding in the car.

Spitey: Har! You chicken. It was a bird Yeti.

katiez said...

I hope to get some wild boar next week - the really wild kind. We have them here but that would involve shooting, cleaning and all that - I'll let our friend do that part. I love the idea of all those fruits... esp. the green gages!

cookiecrumb said...

KatieZ: I'm fascinated that you relate to the green gage. It's completely new to me; came with the new house purchase. But so good! Happy pigging. Out.

kudzu said...

If Spitey were on Kauai she would see flocks of wild chickens -- with roosters who have a lot of hutzpah.

dancingmorgan mouse said...

Wild pig raised on a farm - mmmmmmmm-m oxymoronic ;)

Zoomie said...

Sounds good with all those different fruits - can't lose!

altadenahiker said...

Huh. So you're saying that wild pig with three fruits can actually trump Safeway pork ribs in mushroom soup? Even if the ribs have dried parsley sprinkled on top? Who knew?

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Oh, I love Kauai. Wild chickens and rogue coconuts and all.

Morgan: I know. Wild domestic pork. The truth is, we have loads of wild boar around here, so it's probably the source of this oddity.

Zoomie: Also, the benefit is that we get to use up the overabundance of backyard fruit. Good.

AD Hiker: Ha ha! Yep, I guess that's what I'm saying.
My college roommate hailed from Altadena. Nice to make your acquaintance.

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Farmgirl Susan said...

Except for that blatant misuse (actually, it probably qualifies as abuse) of champagne, this sounds wonderful. I love the idea of all that fruit with the pork. We recently had a hog butchered, and I really need to start doing more creative things than just tossing hunks of it on the grill. Thanks for the inspiration. Now keep that champagne in the flutes! ; )

P.S. This is going back to a comment you left me eons ago. . .I can't believe Lococo's is still going strong - I used to love that place. And my mouth is still watering from your mention of it.


cookiecrumb said...

Yow, Susan!
(Properly chastened, vows never to cook with champagne again.) Is wine still OK? It was cheap Spanish bubbly.

Oh, I would love to gab with you about Windy Lindy. Terra Winda. Scotty's is also still awesome.

Nicolai said...

"Wild pig raised on a farm" IS as one person called it "oxymoronic". What that really means is that a baby wild pig was captured and raised in captivity- something relatively common here in Hawaii.

cookiecrumb said...

Nicolai: Thanks for the information. I can see how capturing a young wild pig and then taking really nice care of it would result in a brilliant product.
Please stop by more often!