Cocoa Nib Crusted Wild Boar 

The Windsor Hotel

  • Regan Whitehead

Cocoa-Nib-Crusted Wild Boar with Fennel-Pistachio Purée, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and a Cranberry Beurre Rouge

For wild boar:

4, 8 oz. wild boar tenderloins

olive oil

1 oz. cocoa nibs (fine-chopped)

sea salt and pepper

For fennel-pistachio purée:

2 bulbs fresh fennel, cleaned and sliced

2 c. heavy cream

2 garlic cloves, whole

6 oz. raw pistachios, shelled

2 sprigs thyme

For caramelized Brussels sprouts:

3 c. frying oil of choice

8 oz. Brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. honey

sea salt

For cranberry beurre rouge:

2 tbsp. olive oil

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

3 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

black pepper

6 oz. fresh cranberries

2 c. red wine

1 c. port wine

1/2 stick of butter, cold

sea salt

For garnish:

1 oz. pistachios

For wild boar:

Coat tenderloins with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and cocoa nibs. In pan, heat olive oil close to smoke point. Pan sear tenderloins until medium-rare to medium (about 45 seconds per side). Let rest, then slice tenderloins into medallions.

For fennel and pistachio purée:

In medium saucepan, bring fennel, cream, garlic, pistachios and thyme to a simmer. Cook fennel until tender. In a VitaPrep or household blender, blend strained ingredients until smooth — almost like baby food. Season with salt to taste.

For caramelized Brussels sprouts:

In medium saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees. Add Brussels sprouts to oil, and cook until golden brown and tender (about 11/2 minutes). Strain Brussels sprouts and toss in balsamic and honey. Add salt to taste.

For cranberry beurre rouge:

Caramelize garlic, shallot, thyme, bay leaf and pepper in oil. Add in cranberries, red wine and port. Reduce to ¼ over low to medium heat, and strain sauce, discarding the chunky stuff. (Or, if you're feeling spicy, purée ingredients with a touch of champagne vinegar for a quick agrodolce.) Remove pan from the heat, add butter, and whisk in. If your sauce breaks, it will still taste awesome, but whisk in a touch of cold cream to bring it back to life. Season with salt to taste.

To assemble:

Add a pool of fennel-pistachio purée to plate and pull across the plate with a spoon. Top purée with medallions of wild boar. Add Brussels sprouts to side of plate. Top wild boar with the cranberry beurre rouge and drizzle around plate. Chop 1 oz. pistachios and sprinkle around plate as garnish. Serves 4. Enjoy!


Wild boar can be scary because many people have never had it. Let me tell you, it's perfect porky goodness with just a hint of red-meat awesomeness thrown in. The cocoa nibs give a slight roasty overtone to the dish, while the cranberry in the beurre rouge cuts through the richness of the fennel purée and the boar. Our guests here at The Windsor Hotel can't get enough of this dish, and we hope you enjoy cooking this for your family and friends this fall.

— Submitted by Chef Regan Whitehead


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