Now what are the origins of this boar and how did it get to me? And is this the little piggy who went to market or the one that stayed home? Does it matter? The bubble (and if you don't know what the bubble is, read my post Bubblicious) says that the boar got in the US Embassy circuit from the someone at the United Arab Emirates Embassy. Someone who likes to hunt boar, but can't eat boar because it's pork. Now I never thought of the conundrum of the Muslim hunter before. But now I'm the direct benefactor of this moral dilemma. So while I've never been pro-hunting and I'm not really religious ever, today I will say a little prayer for NRA. Or the UAERA (United Arab Emirates Rifle Association)....whatever.
So we arrive at Claire's house of boar liquidation. Everything must go! She has a body bag size cooler, actually it's a Samoan size body bag cooler. It's full of assorted boar parts loosely wrapped in cellophane marinating in bloody ice. We are the grateful recipients of a boar leg. Front leg? Back leg? I have no idea. I'm really just taking it on faith that it is a boar, because hacked up bits of animal parts tend to look pretty interchangeable. Who cares what it is? I am carnivore. Hear me boar. I mean roar. Claire puts the slab in the only thing large enough for transporting it to my house, a garbage bag.
So now what do I do with it? Make space in the fridge and look for recipes online. I come across two recipes, both of which contain massive amounts of red wine. So I guess I won't be inviting any Muslims or any Mormons to dinner to help me eat this thing. Oh wait, the recipe says to bake it in the oven. But I have a tiny Moroccan oven and I don't have a pan big enough to fit it anyway. If only I had a grill. But wait, I have friends who have grills. Hi, um can we borrow your grill so we can grill our gift pig who I now assume was the piggy dumb enough to try to make it to market, but didn't quite make it. He should have stayed home.
I've got the recipe, I've got the grill, I've got a lot of really cheap wine and I've got a garbage bag full of boar. So after I pull the boar out of the garbage, er...garbage bag that is, I inspect it. It seems like someone didn't shave their legs before they went to market because there's some wild boars hairs on them. This Babe needs a bath.
I search the kitchen for the largest vessel that can hold the boar and the marinade that it will suffuse in for over 24 hours. I cook the cheap wine up on the stove top with onions, carrots, peppercorns, cloves and thyme. And my scent memory brings me back to living in Germany because this smells exactly like the gluhwein at the Christmas Markets. A drunk pig is a tasty pig.
I put the boar in the biggest platter I can find. It's more of a bowl actually. I guess that makes is a plowl, the distant cousin of the spork. And it becomes obvious I have too much boar, or too much marinade and a shortage of plowl when I overfill it and it runs onto the counter and all over the floor. This is when it would be helpful to have a dog who would just lap it up and then entertain me with its drunk antics all afternoon. I'm sure the kids would have done that too, but they're at school. Damn.
Now I have to get this plowl full of wild (and drunk) boar into my fridge. Oh crap. Why didn't I think of this before? It was not a pretty shuffle of me helping the boar to
Am I boaring you yet?
Finally it's time to grill it and Craig takes over the cooking. It's a guy thing. I finish cooking the basil potatoes, green beans and chutney for the pork. The guests are invited. And now the gate rings and a friend is picking/up dropping off kids and while we're talking two local ladies walk by and I make the rookie American mistake of making direct eye contact with these ladies and smiling. What WAS I thinking? See here in Morocco random passersby will ring your door bell and ask you for things. This happens all the time. So they approach us and ask us in French for a job and for food. How do I say "I've got a boar leg cookin' if you want to come back about 6pm" in French? Then they ask for water. Ok, you have me at water. I can't deny another living creature made up 98% water of water. That would be inhumane. Plus hopefully it will make them go away before the next stranger walks by and asks us for things. After about 10 minutes or so and their bottled water they finally leave.
The boar is cooked, our dinner guests have arrived. Now we have to carve it. We don't have tools to do this, but strangely Christopher does it well. With a dull knife even like he's done this before. And he's very intense and methodical about it. And he's trying to feed me big pieces of boar while he does it. Is he trying to fatten me up? Remind me not to get to close to him or his freezer cause I don't want to wind up in it...
Time to pig out.
And the reviews are in. "More beefy", "really juicy", "totally delicious" and my personal favorite, "I swallowed it". I didn't even pay them or withhold dessert to get them to say these things. Really I didn't.
And how does a wild boar party end? Eating ice cream out of cup with your hands. Yeah, it was that wild.