Hog with Cherry Agrodolce

Hog with Cherry Agrodolce

  • Prep time

    20 minutes

  • Cook time

    2 hours

  • Course

    Main

  • Skill level

    Intermediate

  • Season

    Summer

  • Serves

    4-6
Chef’s notes

There are only a handful of tender cuts out of a large feral pig, so make sure you reserve them for something special. This recipe is the first thing I cooked with a boar I recently shot in Texas. I took a backstrap and seasoned it with crushed wild chiles and then served it with a tart cherry agrodolce to balance the heat. I guarantee this won’t be the last time I make this dish.

Agrodolce is a condiment made by reducing sugar with fruit and vinegar. It’s a sweet and sour combination that works perfectly as a glaze for meat that you plan to roast or grill.

In the recipe below, oil is whisked into the gastrique after it simmers, like a vinaigrette. Although this is unconventional, it adds much-needed fat to lean wild game and balances out the acidity. 

This cherry agrodolce can also be served cold as a side relish. If you don’t have hog, try substituting the cherries with cranberries and replicate this recipe for wild turkey breast.

Sometimes cooking over direct, high heat can turn wild game tough and dry. I use the gentle and consistent heat of sous vide to keep it juicy until it reaches a safe internal temperature. After it has cooked all the way through, brush it with the glaze and quickly sear it over a fire. However, if you don’t have a sous vide device, you can pan roast the meat instead. 

Ingredients

  • 1 wild hog loin
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes or crushed dried chilis
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed, avocado or canola
  • Fresh chopped mint to garnish

Also works with

Duck, geese, and turkey

Special equipment

Sous vide or oven-proof sauté pan

Preparation

  1. Set a sous vide device in a large container of water and program to 145°F. Season the hog loins with salt, pepper, and red chili pepper if using. Place inside a plastic bag and seal shut. Lower the bag into the water and set a timer for two hours if the loin is 2 inches thick or less. Add another 30 minutes for every 1/2-inch above 2 inches thick. If you plan to pan-roast instead, see the notes below.
  2. While the meat is cooking, prepare the agrodolce. In a small saucepan, add the cherries, honey, red wine vinegar and shallot. Gently simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until the shallots and cherries are soft and the liquid turns syrupy. Pour into a bowl and slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. This can be made in advance and stored in a jar. Shake vigorously before using to re-emulsify.
  3. When the timer is up, remove the hog from the bag and let it rest on a cutting board. Prepare a grill over high heat, or preheat a cast iron skillet. Brush the liquids from the agrodolce over the hog and quickly sear for 30 seconds on each side to finish.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of the remaining agrodolce and chopped mint.

Notes

  1. The agrodolce recipe makes almost a cup. You can save it in the fridge for a few days to serve as a glaze for other meats, add to sandwiches or freeze what you don’t use.
  2. If you don’t have a sous vide device, you can pan-roast the meat instead. To do so, brown the loin on one side in an oven-proof sauté pan. Flip and then transfer to an oven preheated at 325°F. Baste the meat periodically with the agrodolce as it cooks and remove once it reaches 145°F internally.
Chef’s notes

There are only a handful of tender cuts out of a large feral pig, so make sure you reserve them for something special. This recipe is the first thing I cooked with a boar I recently shot in Texas. I took a backstrap and seasoned it with crushed wild chiles and then served it with a tart cherry agrodolce to balance the heat. I guarantee this won’t be the last time I make this dish.

Agrodolce is a condiment made by reducing sugar with fruit and vinegar. It’s a sweet and sour combination that works perfectly as a glaze for meat that you plan to roast or grill.

In the recipe below, oil is whisked into the gastrique after it simmers, like a vinaigrette. Although this is unconventional, it adds much-needed fat to lean wild game and balances out the acidity. 

This cherry agrodolce can also be served cold as a side relish. If you don’t have hog, try substituting the cherries with cranberries and replicate this recipe for wild turkey breast.

Sometimes cooking over direct, high heat can turn wild game tough and dry. I use the gentle and consistent heat of sous vide to keep it juicy until it reaches a safe internal temperature. After it has cooked all the way through, brush it with the glaze and quickly sear it over a fire. However, if you don’t have a sous vide device, you can pan roast the meat instead. 

Ingredients

  • 1 wild hog loin
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes or crushed dried chilis
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed, avocado or canola
  • Fresh chopped mint to garnish

Also works with

Duck, geese, and turkey

Special equipment

Sous vide or oven-proof sauté pan

Preparation

  1. Set a sous vide device in a large container of water and program to 145°F. Season the hog loins with salt, pepper, and red chili pepper if using. Place inside a plastic bag and seal shut. Lower the bag into the water and set a timer for two hours if the loin is 2 inches thick or less. Add another 30 minutes for every 1/2-inch above 2 inches thick. If you plan to pan-roast instead, see the notes below.
  2. While the meat is cooking, prepare the agrodolce. In a small saucepan, add the cherries, honey, red wine vinegar and shallot. Gently simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until the shallots and cherries are soft and the liquid turns syrupy. Pour into a bowl and slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. This can be made in advance and stored in a jar. Shake vigorously before using to re-emulsify.
  3. When the timer is up, remove the hog from the bag and let it rest on a cutting board. Prepare a grill over high heat, or preheat a cast iron skillet. Brush the liquids from the agrodolce over the hog and quickly sear for 30 seconds on each side to finish.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of the remaining agrodolce and chopped mint.

Notes

  1. The agrodolce recipe makes almost a cup. You can save it in the fridge for a few days to serve as a glaze for other meats, add to sandwiches or freeze what you don’t use.
  2. If you don’t have a sous vide device, you can pan-roast the meat instead. To do so, brown the loin on one side in an oven-proof sauté pan. Flip and then transfer to an oven preheated at 325°F. Baste the meat periodically with the agrodolce as it cooks and remove once it reaches 145°F internally.

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Save this recipe

Hog with Cherry Agrodolce

Recipe by: Danielle Prewett
Hog with Cherry Agrodolce
  • Prep time

    20 minutes

  • Cook time

    2 hours

  • Course

    Main

  • Skill level

    Intermediate

  • Season

    Summer

  • Serves

    4-6
Chef’s notes

There are only a handful of tender cuts out of a large feral pig, so make sure you reserve them for something special. This recipe is the first thing I cooked with a boar I recently shot in Texas. I took a backstrap and seasoned it with crushed wild chiles and then served it with a tart cherry agrodolce to balance the heat. I guarantee this won’t be the last time I make this dish.

Agrodolce is a condiment made by reducing sugar with fruit and vinegar. It’s a sweet and sour combination that works perfectly as a glaze for meat that you plan to roast or grill.

In the recipe below, oil is whisked into the gastrique after it simmers, like a vinaigrette. Although this is unconventional, it adds much-needed fat to lean wild game and balances out the acidity. 

This cherry agrodolce can also be served cold as a side relish. If you don’t have hog, try substituting the cherries with cranberries and replicate this recipe for wild turkey breast.

Sometimes cooking over direct, high heat can turn wild game tough and dry. I use the gentle and consistent heat of sous vide to keep it juicy until it reaches a safe internal temperature. After it has cooked all the way through, brush it with the glaze and quickly sear it over a fire. However, if you don’t have a sous vide device, you can pan roast the meat instead. 

Ingredients

  • 1 wild hog loin
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes or crushed dried chilis
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed, avocado or canola
  • Fresh chopped mint to garnish

Also works with

Duck, geese, and turkey

Special equipment

Sous vide or oven-proof sauté pan

Preparation

  1. Set a sous vide device in a large container of water and program to 145°F. Season the hog loins with salt, pepper, and red chili pepper if using. Place inside a plastic bag and seal shut. Lower the bag into the water and set a timer for two hours if the loin is 2 inches thick or less. Add another 30 minutes for every 1/2-inch above 2 inches thick. If you plan to pan-roast instead, see the notes below.
  2. While the meat is cooking, prepare the agrodolce. In a small saucepan, add the cherries, honey, red wine vinegar and shallot. Gently simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until the shallots and cherries are soft and the liquid turns syrupy. Pour into a bowl and slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. This can be made in advance and stored in a jar. Shake vigorously before using to re-emulsify.
  3. When the timer is up, remove the hog from the bag and let it rest on a cutting board. Prepare a grill over high heat, or preheat a cast iron skillet. Brush the liquids from the agrodolce over the hog and quickly sear for 30 seconds on each side to finish.
  4. Serve with a spoonful of the remaining agrodolce and chopped mint.

Notes

  1. The agrodolce recipe makes almost a cup. You can save it in the fridge for a few days to serve as a glaze for other meats, add to sandwiches or freeze what you don’t use.
  2. If you don’t have a sous vide device, you can pan-roast the meat instead. To do so, brown the loin on one side in an oven-proof sauté pan. Flip and then transfer to an oven preheated at 325°F. Baste the meat periodically with the agrodolce as it cooks and remove once it reaches 145°F internally.