Grilled Wild Boar Chops with Apple and Star Anise Relish

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Ingredientsgrilled wild boar chops

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 4 wild boar chops 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick
  • 2 red cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch red chile peppers flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Brine the wild boar chops:

  1. Combine the water, 1/4 cup kosher salt 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 2 star anise pods (broken into pieces) and the 2 bay leaves in a large pot.  Gently warm the brine over low heat, continually stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve.  Transfer the brine to a large bowl, and stir in the ice cubes to cool the brine down to 45°F or cooler.
  2. Put the wild boar chops in a zipper-lock plastic bag, and pour the brine in.  Seal the bag, place the bag in the bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no more than 6.

Make the relish: 

  1. Combine the chopped red and Granny Smith apples, chopped shallots, grated ginger, 1 star anise pod, the cider vinegar, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and the pinch of red chile pepper flakes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.  Take the saucepan off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Pick out and discard the star anise pod.


Grill the chops:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium high. Take the chops out of the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the brine. Just before grilling, sprinkle both sides of the chops with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Lay the chops on the hottest part of the grill, cover and sear 2 minutes. Turn the chops over, cover and sear 2 more minutes. Move the chops to an area of medium heat — or if you’re using a gas grill, turn off 1 of the heating elements and move the chops to the side with no heat.  Cover and cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes. The chops will be medium rare when a meat thermometer reaches 135°-140°F.
  3. Transfer the chops to a cutting board or platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil and rest 5 minutes.  Spoon some of the apple relish over the chops (or to the side of each chop) and serve.
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