Wild Boar Filet Mignon and Smoked Lentils

Wild boar is eaten all across Eastern Europe, from eastern Germany to Russia. It is a common charge in heraldry, displayed on the coat of arms of Ebersbach in Saxony. Boar hunting was also one of Brezhnev’s favorite pastimes. Filet mignon, the tenderloin, is one of the only cuts of wild boar that is best enjoyed rare or medium rare, a welcome change from the usual boar stews and sausages.

Although generally cultivated somewhere else, lentils are widely consumed in Eastern Europe, particularly in soups like this one. The lentils here don’t quite form a soup, but they should be liquid enough to be used as a sauce for the meat. To make the smoked pork stock I am using below, you can either buy smoked ham hocks, or save the bones from smoked pork ribs.

Smoked lentils
Yields 6 servings

1 qt smoked pork stock
8 oz lentils
2 oz carrot, brunoise
2 oz celery, brunoise
2 oz celery root, brunoise
2 oz cipollini onion, brunoise
leaves from 4 thyme springs
black pepper, ground
1 1/2 oz butter

  • Reduce the smoked pork stock by 1/3 and reserve.
  • Put the lentils in a large saucepan, add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat immediately, drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water. Return to the saucepan and add the reduced pork stock, carrot, celery, celery root, onion, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer on minimum heat for about 1 1/2 hours, until the lentils are very tender. If all the liquid is absorbed, add a bit of water.
  • Stir in the butter and serve.

Wild boar filet mignon
Yields 6 servings

4 wild boar tendeloins, 2-3 lb total
black pepper, ground
olive oil
1 oz whisky

  • Cut each tenderloin into 3 pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté in a hot pan with olive oil until brown on all sides, then add the whisky. Remove the pan from the heat and let rest for about 5 minutes, turning the meat once. If you like your meat cooked more, finish in a 350 F oven to reach the desired doneness.
  • Serve on a bed of smoked lentils.