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Monday, June 15, 2015


The Boar's Head
Photo from: givawayboy
OCast jauali, Cat senglar, L. Sus scrofa, ME bore, Eng. boar. It is thought to be the predecessor of the wild pig. For this, the boar is prohibited for consumption by Islamic and Jewish law. Christian Spain, however, treated it as an absolute luxury and does have recipes from time immemorial. Until the 17th C, boars were common, later they began to disappear with the innovation of the rifle. In Spain, boars continue but are smaller than in central Europe. The males, in Spain measure 60-65 cm. long. Those in Andalusia seldom reach 60 cms. They can weigh as much as 200 kg. Their fangs are so long that they protrude from the mouth. On each side of their noses are two hocked tusks. After they reach adulthood at age five, the tusks become more curled making them less dangerous by the time they are six or seven.

wild boar charging
Photo from: ian m
Boars are hunted in their habitat of dense forests. The hunters wait during the night for one to come out of its hiding place in search of food. Although the boar has poor eyesight, it hears well. When it senses danger, it charges its object. It is apparently slow but when faced with its dirty brown 200 kg. mass of muscle with its stiff and thick hairs around its ears and all over his body, it seems to move like lightening. The thunder of its gallop has left more than one victim frozen in terror.

The females bite but a young male’s tusks are among the most dangerous objects man can face. The hunter’s spear must be steady and straight and his thrust powerful, if wounded the boar is more dangerous yet. Even with good rifles today, the overwhelming feeling of being charged by a boar it totally hair-raising. The danger of being killed or maimed for life is enormous.

Frying Pork in Bacon Fat
Photo by: Lord-Williams
There has been boar hunting with horses and dogs but the risk of loosing dogs particularly is so high, and probably that of horses too, that men normally hunt on foot and never alone. Once a boar is killed, it is prepared for eating. If old, it is castrated immediately for the taste is excellent but too strong. Castration tones it down. Jerked meat (cecina) is made with boar meat.

Nola provides a recipe for boar broth while Sent Soví gives two sauces for boar. Beside cooking or roasting the meat, in England, the head is marinated for three days with vinegar, salt, herbs and peppercorns with the tongue and a couple pounds of meat after singing the hairs off. Then bones are removed from the head and it is stuffed with thinly sliced meat from the head and rolled up in the tongue. The head is sown up, covered with a cloth and boiled in herbs, wine, cloves, a carrot and salt for six or seven hours. Once the cloth and threads are removed, an ornament, such as the lord’s coat-of-arms, is placed between the eyes and the nose and then it is glazed. Curls may be made in the glaze to look like locks of hair. Hard boiled egg whites and beets are inserted in the holes for the eyes (as the eyes are removed for another exquisite dish), the tusks are fitted back into place and an apple is placed in the mouth or it could be simply larded. A folded cloth is set on a plate and the head placed on top to make a lovely entrée when paraded through the medieval hall to commence the feast. A basic wine sauce with red currants and shallots is served with the head. See untos and verraco. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:LXXXVIIII:122-123:LXXXX:123; Ares. “Comidas.” 1994:101; Cassell’s Dict. n/d:72; Curye. 1985:40:173; Espasa. 1988:28: 2ª Parte:INT:2316-2319; Nola. 1989:lii-2; Nola/Iranzo. 1982:170; and Personal Memories. Pascualette 1994]

Soppes with Chunks of Pork and Bacon
Photo by: Lord-Williams


1 lb pork (or wild pig or boar if so lucky)
200 gr bacon
1 onion chopped
spices, except saffron and cinnamon, such as:
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp freshly ginger scrappings
¼ tsp White pepper
2 c red wine
¾ c vinegar
2º c water
2 c red wine
1 c wine vinegar
2 c pork broth

chopped fresh herbs such as:
1 tsbp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp chopped thyme
1 tbsp chopped oregano
1 tbsp chopped sage


Puréed Sopped
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Chop pork into slices the size of two fingers. Slice bacon and lay them in the bottom of a frying pan. Fry all the bacon. Brown the pork. Add onion and fry until translucent.

Add spices and liquids. Bring to a boil and simmer ½ hour.

Remove from heat and add herbs

Serve as a hearty broth with junks of meat, bacon with pieces of bread or purée the ingredients in a food processor and garnish with herbs before serving.


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