Wild boar is superbly rich, versatile meat and Cai ap Bryn can’t resist giving some delicious, tender chops the deep-fried Texas treatment. Serves two. Prep time 25 mins.

I have done a fair few wild boar recipes. Without repeating myself too much, it’s a meat that I absolutely love cooking with. It’s versatile, rich and incredibly delicious. Some of the best methods are, of course, to make good burgers and sausages, but you can do so much more.

This recipe, for my country-fried wild boar chops, includes a nicely seasoned herby crust that really lifts the flavour. It’s great with potatoes and apple sauce — proper comfort food.

When picking the chops, I would advise getting them from a younger boar. The older the animal, the tougher they can be. The meat from a young boar can be extremely tasty and tender, especially when cooked using the method below.

Wild boar populations are cropping up in small areas all over the UK, with the largest being in the Forest of Dean. Where we live in East Sussex, there have been wild boar since the 1980s. Some 15 to 20 years ago, we had very good numbers, but overshooting, hunting pressure and night vision mean that the numbers have dwindled and the boar have spread thinly and further afield throughout Kent and Sussex. Nowadays, many who shoot in this area try to give them a rest. In fact, it has been a few years since I shot my last boar in these parts.

I took inspiration for this recipe from a trip to San Antonio in Texas. I got to try some fantastically unhealthy foods while there, including a chicken-fried steak. Though it sounds confusing, it was utterly delicious. The steak was cooked in chicken fat with a seasoned-flour crust. It is typically served with mashed potatoes and gravy. I first tried it out using pork chops and it came out very well indeed.

One thing to bear in mind, especially when you cook wild boar, is to make sure the meat that is bought, or shot, is tested for trichinella. Trichinosis is a food-borne disease caused by consuming raw or uncooked meat containing these parasitic worms and it can make you seriously ill.

These days, our pork products are fully tested and have no risk, meaning most of our pork can be eaten medium-rare. Though it is uncommon, wild boar are still able to carry this disease and will certainly need to be tested.

Fried wild boar with apple butter

Ingredients

  • 2 wild boar chops
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp English mustard powder
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • ¼ tsp sage
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 150ml vegetable oil

For the sauce

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  1. Peel and dice the apple. Place the butter in a pan on a medium heat, add the diced apple, water and syrup with a pinch of salt.
  2. Cook down for around 25 minutes, until soft and a caramel colour. Then use a hand blender to puree into apple butter. Keep to one side.
  3. Make sure you take the chops out of the fridge up to an hour before cooking. The recipe works best if they are at room temperature.
  4. Mix all of the spices and flour together. Add the chops to the mix of dry ingredients and coat well.
  5. Add the oil to a deep-sided frying pan and heat to about 180°C.
  6. Cook the meat and brown it all over until it reaches about 60°C. This will be slightly pink and should take about four minutes a side. I do advise using a temperature probe to avoid overcooking it.