Saturday, August 26, 2023

A Trilogy of Wild Boar Hashes

I recently documented, on Facebook, my process of using up leftover wild boar via a series of three hashes. Here's the whole roll:
Day One: Wild Boar Hash

Hash of leftover wild boar, roast potatoes, watercress, garlic, and a few spoonfuls of leftover Brazilian feijão tropeiro (beans with toasted yucca flour and cilantro).

Day Two: Another Day, Another Wild Boar Hash!

Gotta finish up leftovers. A hunk of leftover wild boar sits desiccating in my fridge along with some Brazilian feijão tropeiro (beans with toasted yucca flour and cilantro). Today, I added onions (and served vegetables on the side).

I've been trying for years to expand on the Indian insight that different onion prep techniques create very different effects (try Dopiaza - "two onions" - sometime, a North Indian staple that creates great richness by using onions two different ways). One part of that involves experimenting with cusp burntness. Flirting with burntness.

You may glance at the photo and say "Dude, that's not flirting, that's fully-consummated burntness". But different foods have different points where they taste subjectively burnt.

Cookies and potato chips, for example, need to retain some golden color or else taste gross and carbonized. But onions have such personality when aggressively seared that you will taste grill rather than carbon even at this advanced point.

That said, I wouldn't have cooked them a second longer (I use my sense of smell a lot when cooking...deep primordial juju alerts us when things are heading south. If you pay very vigilant attention, and act immediately, you can learn to intercept a cooking process within an iota of its decline from peak. Refining this sort of thing is how I get MY JOLLIES).

I also dumped in some of yesterday's roast potato chunks, but this time didn't spotlight them, first, because they're leftover (yesterday I roasted fresh), and, second, because I only had a few. So I let demoted them to spuddy carb sponges (I was gentle with heat not to dry them further, but I did achieve a dab of fresh caramelization).

Yesterday, I linked a commenter to three postings where I explain my hash technique, plus offered details on how I handled the wild boar chunks (really, shreds). Replay below:

Hash is the easiest thing in the world. In fact, the problem's the easiness...not doing too much. The more you do, the worse it gets.

Here are three breezy Slog postings explaining my hash technique (with food porn photos):
Pork Rib Hash
Breakfast Hash
Perfecting and Applying Pan-Toasted Tortilla Shreds
One more thing! I finger-pulled shreds off a solid block of leftover wild boar, then added them to a warm lightly oil-coated fry pan, and pushed it down with a bacon press ( I wanted some caramelization/crunch on the meat without drying it out (boar dries easily), hence the low temp and the press.

You need to visualize the particulars of how you want the result to be, then craftily plot your way there, always opting for the laziest, most cheating route.

Day Three: Hashy Collapse

My previous two hashes were about simple moves executed with great consideration, as I worked to use up the dwindling block of desiccating braised wild boar in my fridge.

Today, I hadn't had a bite until 4 PM, so I was famished. Lacking discipline to make any effort, this was slipshod hash. Still pretty good (an 8 out of 10 on my surprisingly non-ditzy system for rating foods, i.e. "elicits vocal expression of pleasure").

Roast potatoes are all gone and I didn't have the patience to boil rice. I had two handfuls of unsauced supermarket gnocchi in the fridge, so I boiled them up with some frozen mixed vegetables. Meanwhile tossed onions in a frying pan, like yesterday, but sloppily-cut and paying less attention to timing and temperature. I hand-pulled strands of wild boar meat again, but less thoughtfully. Trusting instinct, I used a bit more of the leftover Brazilian beans, counting on them to add some of the subtle flavor I wasn't conjuring with the other ingredients.

I weighed down the sizzling meat mixture again with my cast iron bacon press, dumped gnocchi and vegs into serving bowl, added the meat/onion, stirred, and devoured in about twelve seconds flat.

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