Civet is a stew that is typically made from game meat. Its origins are in the middle ages and it is still commonly cooked in northern France and Catalalana. Porc Senglar is wild boar and is often eaten in Andorra.
I find out about the dish popularity in Andorra from Wikipedia, however finding the recipe turns into a challenge. All the recipes I find are not in english and I have to rely on google translate to figure this out. I don’t think it totally translates the recipe correctly. So I go and work with a few recipes to figure things out.
The first thing I need to figure out is the ingredients. One recipe calls for 2 cookies, and 15 mandel. This is translated from German and I find out that mandel means almond. But 2 cookies? What kind of cookies, really cookies? Seems odd. The next recipe I find has the ingredients broken up into headings: “SUPPORT”, “FOR FERTILIZER”, “By the bite”. I’m not sure what these means, but the ingredients don’t have cookies, but it does call for a bundle of grass and a shot of chocolate. I don’t know how much a shot of chocolate is. I’m not so sure what a bundle of grass is, thy don’t mean weed? So I look at another recipe and this has a branch of rosemary and thyme which I’m gonna assume is grass. Weed might have made the dinner part interesting, but still illegal in california. The last recipe also calls for a glass of white wine. Is this a 2 oz pour, a normal glass, or the way I pour wine. Using the three recipes I have a good idea of what ingredients are and so now on to preparation.
All recipes agree to that you need to marinate the meat with the vegetables wine and brandy. However the length of time to marinate differ. The main recipe I’m following suggests 12 hours. Another says 48. The third says at least 24 hours, but will taste better if you marinate for 48 hours. I am doing the 48 hours.
48 hours later, the next step says “After the soaking time, remove the cubes from the marinated boar, drain all the juice recovering well, Season, lightly flour and fry in olive oil in a pan. When you are blonde, remove and set aside.” Okay so I get that I remove the cubes and keep the marinated juice, but when was I supposed to dye my hair? And what does my hair color have to do with cooking this? So I refer to another recipe that tells me: “After this time, separate the meat from the marinade and pick the bones to make a broth. After salting the meat and flour and fry it slightly (on high) until it forms a small scab. Strain the marinade and reserve liquid.”. Wait what? I have to make a broth with the bones? My meat came boneless. And why do I want to form scabs, how long will that take?. The third recipe says to cook the onions and other vegetables. Okay cool I think I know how to do that. I need to separate the meat, liquid and vegetables. I chopped the onions and this makes separating the meat and the vegetables a pain. I recommend just slicing the onion to keep bigger chunks for the marinate.
I fry the meat and then the vegetables then add the marinated liquid back in to the stew. The next issue is how long to stew. One recipe says until the liquid is down by half. The other says to cook this 1 1/2 hours. I cook for an hour and a half and the meat doesn’t seem that soft to me and the liquid isn’t reduced by half. I end up cooking 3 hours based on the third recipe’s recommendation and the meat is still not totally tender, but better.
Next step is: “Turn off heat, remove Stewed onions and diced meat, and go through the strainer Chinese cooking juice with other vegetables.”. Hmm not sure what chinese cooking juice is. Soy sauce? I finally figure out it means a chinese strainer. I’m not sure what that is so I review another recipe “When half cooked (low temperature), separate the meat from the rest and withdraw support.” I don’t know how to do this. How do I withdraw support? Do I need to ask the president to remove our troops? Do I need to join a support group and then stop going? The third recipe says to puree the mixture. Okay so this is the dilemma. Do I puree the vegetables or do like Beef Bourguignon and dump them out. I read two more recipes that have differing opinions and then look at pictures. Some reason it reminds me of Beef Bourguignon and I go with this method. Strain the vegetables and meat, saving the liquid. Fish out the meat again. I also fry mushrooms and pearl onions in olive oil. Then add the broth, mushrooms, onions, and broth back to thicken.
I then make a chocolate sauce. No recipe tells me what to do with it.
They just sort of end:
- “It all together again. About five minutes before finished cooking, add the chopped and add salt and pepper.”
- “In a mortar, crush almonds and you biscuits, which are added together with the chocolate at the end of cooking and 5 minutes mitgegart to make the sauce nice and creamy”
- “Meanwhile, make the sauce in a mortar and add the meat to the pan when it is soft. Stir and cook 5 minutes more.”
I assume I add the sauce and simmer for 5 more minutes. The broth is still a bit soupy so I add a tablespoon of flour and it thickens beautifully.
I wanted to serve this with potatoes. I look to see if there is a another Andorra recipe for potatoes besides Tinxat. I find a recipe for catalana potatoes. They are simple and straight forward to make. Of course there is bacon involved, which reminds me of the Trinxat.
This was truly a lost-in-translation meal. The result is the sauce is absolutely amazing. There is a strong hint of brandy and the wine with the chocolate is dark and rich. All the flavors have melded and it is great. I’m not a fan of the meat but my friends love it and we decided the flavor is just gamey and that is not for me. However I just eat the sauce with potatoes and I am a happy girl!
Civet de Singular
Original recipe can be found here
- 2 lbs diced large boar shoulder
- 2 cups of red wine
- 1 cup brandy
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 stick of celery, sliced
- 1 head of garlic, cloves crushed
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1/2 cup Flour + 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- 20 pearl onions
- 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
- 10 toasted almonds
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 oz dark chocolate
- Cut boar into large cubes and marinate it in the refrigerator for 48 hours with the next 11 ingredients (red wine to thyme)
- Remove the cubes of boar from the marinade. Strain the vegetables and save the juice and vegetables.
- Season boar with salt and pepper, lightly flour, and fry in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan. Brown on all sides, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the vegetables until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Add back wild boar and marinade. Simmer for 3 hours or until meat is soft enough.
- saute the mushrooms in olive oil and set aside.
- Sauté pearl onions in olive oil and set aside.
- In a food processor combine almonds, 2 cloves of garlic, and chocolate.
- Remove the cubes of boar from pan. Strain the vegetables and save the juice and discard vegetables.
- Stir in pearl onions, mushrooms, chocolate sauce, tablespoon of flour into the boar and cook 5 minutes more.
Original recipe can be found here
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes peeled and sliced
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 slices bacon diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the whole garlic cloves.
- Cook the garlic until browned and discard it.
- Add the diced onion and the bacon to the pan and sauté until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the onion and the bacon from the pan.
- Add half the potato slices to the oil.
- Cover them with an even layer of the onions, chopped garlic, bacon, salt and pepper.
- Top with the remaining potato slices.
- Cook the potatoes until they are tender throughout and lightly browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes.