Sunday, February 10, 2008

Elegantly wasted, vol 2.

Yesterday was a dinner-party day again. It seems we really, really need to move to a bigger place and get a bigger table. But it was fun as always, I made a really ambitious dish of three types of meat - wild bore and elk (first time to cook it in a none-mince format) and pork. And I set up the fire-alarm for the first time in my life (although nothing was burning, really) and later on won at poker, again. So a good night all around.

The three meat feast

wild boar (~400 gr)
elk (200 gr)
pork tenderloin (~ 900 gr)
potatoes (8)
carrots (2)
olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
cream of mushroom soup

for the boar marinade:
1 lemon
dried ginger powder
dried rosemary
dried oregano
juniper berries

for the elk marinade:
dark soy-sauce

for the pork marinade:
2 star anise-pods
1 chopped lemongrass

I searched the web for the boar and elk recipes and was initially a little worried that I wasn't gonna have enough time for marinating and / or cooking them, but it ended up working nicely. The elk could have been a bit juicier.

For each of the meats I mixed all the ingredients for the marinades (crushed them first in the case of the boar) carefully coated the meat with the mixture, then covered it tightly with cling-film (I read that it accelerates the marinating process significantly) and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours (1 in the case of the pork).

I pre-heated the oven to 200 C and put the wild boar in a baking-dish, covered it with the cream of mushroom-soup mixed with some hot water. It ended up spending about 1,5 h in the oven, but was nice and soft as a result.
The elk I cut into chunks the size of a small fist (mine :), wrapped in bacon, fixed with toothpicks and then wrapped in tin-foil. They spent around 40 min. in the oven.
With the pork I took the classic route, cleaned off the rough bits of lemon-grass and star anise, seared it on a hot pan with butter and then stuck it in the oven under a sheet of crumpled wet baking paper for ~10 minutes.

The sauce was the cream-of mushroom mixture that the boar was in. I strained it to get rid of all the herbs and berries in it and added in the juices from cooking the pork. It was super tasty and went nicely with all the meats and the asparagus. Who knew that juniper berries compliment asparagus.

I boiled 2 cloves of garlic, 1 lemon-grass and the zest of half a lemon in some water for 10 minutes, then got rid of the stuff and then boiled the asparagus in it. Also something I read online. So lot's of learning-points for me yesterday :)

And I made a potato-carrot mash. I used some tricks I saw in a cooking show, but I don't remember the name. The host is an Australian woman and she often invites her mom in. In the episode I saw, they both made their mashed potatoes and then let some kid pick which one was the best. That lady's trick was to make sure the potatoes were completely dry before mashing them, adding butter and war milk (as per usual) but she also added in a swirl of extra virgin olive oil just in the end, to make it super smooth and silky.

So only after about 4 hours of non-stop cooking it was all done and ready, I put on some make-up and proceeded to getting elegantly wasted :)

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