Wild Boar Cutlets, Celery Root Purée, Kasha, and Lingonberry Sauce

Posted by Florian in Meat, Russian Food, tagged with , , , , ,

As seen at the two restaurants discussed in my previous posts, wild game, mushrooms, and berries are three essential ingredients in Siberian cuisine. Quite often, the game meat is prepared as a cutlet – a round or oval patty made of ground meat. There’s a reason for this: while it would be awesome if wild animals could be all tender, juicy loins for steaks and meaty shanks for stews, the reality is that they’re much leaner than their domesticated counterparts. Virtually no one eats smoked whitetail brisket or a wild duck leg confit – there’s just not enough meat for such dishes to be a thing. So it’s convenient to grind the meat from those parts that are too small to make a full meal, but still represent quite a lot of meat when put together. Americans make hamburgers, and Russians make cutlets.

My recipe for today is essentially inspired by a mix of two dishes: the cutlet of Sayan brown bear with lingonberry cream sauce, buckwheat, and porcini from Chemodan and the wild boar cutlets, celery root purée, and rowanberry jelly from White Rabbit. I borrowed the ideas of lingonberry sauce and porcini kasha from the former, and of wild boar and celery root purée from the latter.

The key for a cutlet, ultimately, is to achieve the right texture, especially since it will be cooked medium well to well done. A big patty made with only ground meat is guaranteed to end up dense and dry. So I’m borrowing a few tricks from meatloaf recipes to achieve an airier, moister consistency: I’m adding diced shallots and mushrooms, grated cheese, beaten egg, and bread.

So take off your shirt (Putin style), light up the fireplace, and set the table on the bear skin rug! Oh, and if you insist on eating bear rather wild boar, you can find some at this store.

Siberian Cuisine - Wild Boar Cutlets, Celery Root Purée, Kasha and Lingonberry Sauce

Wild boar cutlets
Yields 4 servings

35 g peeled shallots, small dice
20 g butter
550 g wild boar shoulder, large dice
50 g white bread, crust removed, small dice 
60 g cleaned white mushrooms, small dice
55 g (about 1) egg, beaten
40 g gouda, grated 
6 g parsley
6 g salt
black pepper, ground

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallots in butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool.
  • Pass the wild boar meat through the large die of a meat grinder, into a bowl. Mix in the bread, mushrooms, egg, gouda, parsley, salt, and pepper, then grind again using the small die.
  • Transfer the ground meat mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap, shape into a log, and roll tightly to obtain a cylinder that’s about 7.5 cm in diameter and 14 cm long. Refrigerate.
Siberian Cuisine - Wild Boar Cutlets

Celery root purée
Yields 4 servings

80 g chicken stock
260 g peeled celery root, sliced
90 g cream
2.5 g salt
15 g butter

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce the chicken stock by half.
  • Place the stock, celery root, cream, and salt into a sous-vide pouch, and cook in a 85 C / 185 F water bath for 90 minutes.
  • Transfer the contents of the pouch to a blender, add the butter, and blend on high speed for at least 1 minute, to obtain a perfectly smooth purée. Transfer to a container, and reserve.

Lingonberry sauce
Yields 4 servings

60 g peeled shallots, sliced
60 g cleaned white mushrooms, sliced
15 g butter
100 g red wine
300 g chicken stock
80 g lingonberries
50 g heavy cream
20 g sugar 

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallots and mushrooms in butter until soft.
  • Add the red wine, reduce by half, then add the chicken stock, and reduce by 2/3.
  • Pass the mixture through a chinois, pushing down with a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible from the solids. Discarding the solids, transfer the liquid to a blender, and add the lingonberries, heavy cream, and sugar. Process until smooth, then pass through the chinois again.
  • Return the sauce to a clean saucepan over medium heat, and reduce by half. You should end up with about 130 g of sauce. Strain it through a chinois one last time, and reserve.  
Siberian Cuisine - Wild Boar Cutlets, Celery Root Purée, Kasha and Lingonberry Sauce

Porcini and pancetta kasha
Yields 4 servings

200 g chicken stock (plus some extra, see below)
20 g dried porcini, chopped
20 g (about 1/2) egg
90 g buckwheat
140 g pancetta, medium dice
40 g peeled onion, brunoise
20 g butter
salt
black pepper, ground
8 g parsley, chopped

  • Bring the chicken stock with the dried porcini to a boil in saucepan over high heat. Reserve.
  • Lightly beat the egg in a bowl. Add the buckwheat, and stir to coat the grains.
  • In a medium-size saucepan over high heat, sauté the pancetta until colored, then reserve.
  • In the same saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter until soft. Add the buckwheat, using a fork to break up any lumps. Season with salt and pepper, turn up the heat to high, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture smells toasted.
  • Add the chicken stock and porcini to the kasha, then simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until tender. If the buckwheat isn’t fully cooked, add more chicken stock only little by little to avoid turning it into a mush.
  • Stir in the pancetta and the parsley, rectify the seasoning, and reserve.
Siberian Cuisine - Porcini and Pancetta Kasha

Assembly
Yields 4 servings

wild boar cutlets
canola oil
porcini and pancetta kasha
celery root purée
lingonberry sauce

  • Cut the wild boar cutlet log into 4 equal slices (you can trim the ends a bit first, to get perfectly shaped slices) and discard the plastic wrap .
  • In a pan over high heat, sauté the cutlets with some canola oil on both sides until brown.
  • Transfer to a 175 C / 350 F oven, and bake for about 15 minutes, flipping the cutlets at the halfway point, until the internal temperature reaches 63 C / 145 F. Be careful: the last degrees go fast, and you don’t want the meat to be any more cooked than that. Let rest for a couple minutes.
  • Reheat the porcini and pancetta kasha in its saucepan over low heat.
  • Reheat the celery root purée and the lingonberry sauce (you can use a microwave).
  • Place a cutlet at the center of each plate, and surround with some kasha and celery root purée on either side. Top the meat with some lingonberry sauce, and serve.
Siberian Cuisine - Wild Boar Cutlets, Celery Root Purée, Kasha and Lingonberry Sauce
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