Wild Boar Prosciutto With Apple Saba, Arugula and Nasturtium
For the boar
1 Broken Arrow Ranch boar leg, approximately 7 lbs.
4 cups kosher salt
1 tsp. pink salt*
4 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
10 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
16 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
½ bottle (375 milliliter) red wine
½ bottle (375 milliliter) balsamic vinegar
1 head garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups lard
For the assembly
2 cups Claverach Farm arugula
1 Tbsp. apple saba, divided**
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup nasturtium leaves and/or flowers
Salt and pepper to taste
*Pink salt is available at most spice shops and specialty grocery stores.
**You can find apple saba at Soulard Spice Shop or order it online at zingermans.com. Otherwise, substitute with quality balsamic vinegar.
• Remove the aitchbone from the boar leg.
• Mix together the kosher salt, pink salt, cayenne pepper, 8 tablespoons of black pepper and the dark brown sugar to create the dry cure.
• In a nonreactive pan big enough to fit the boar leg, sprinkle 1/3 of the dry cure. Lay the leg on top of the cure and cover with the rest of the dry cure. Make sure to pack the dry cure around the edges of the leg, the exposed femur and by the ankle. Cover the leg with plastic wrap then place an even amount of weight on top of the leg. Refrigerate. (If space allows in the refrigerator, cure the leg in a wooden wine box that is arranged on top of a drain pan. It is better to keep the meat as dry as possible during curing.)
• Cure the leg 2 days for every pound the leg weighs, approximately 2 weeks. During the curing, flip the leg every other day, reapplying the cure that remains in the pan.
• After the curing time has elapsed, the leg should feel stiffer. Rinse the cure from the leg and dry the leg. Return the leg to the refrigerator while you prepare the sealing.
• Seal the meat by first reducing the red wine and the balsamic vinegar together until reduced by 2/3 of the original volume. Allow the reduction to cool at room temperature.
• Brush the boar leg with the reduction then return the leg to the refrigerator until the next day.
• The next day, mix together the lard, minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of black pepper. Thoroughly rub the entire surface of the boar leg with the lard mixture.
• Wrap the leg in cheesecloth and secure with a butcher string. Hang the leg in an area that is 58 to 68 degrees, 60 percent humidity and not exposed to sunlight. If possible, keep the air circulated with a small fan. (Basements are a great place to age meat; hang the meat from the rafters with a drip pan set under the meat. Make sure no animals can get at your aging meat.) Age the leg between 1 and 2 months.
• After aging, use a scrub brush to remove the lard mixture. Pat the meat dry.
• Thinly slice 16 pieces of the prosciutto.
• Pick the stems from the arugula and place the leaves in a small mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly dress with a small amount of apple saba and olive oil. Gently mix the leaves with the dressing.
• Arrange two slices of prosciutto on each plate. Drizzle apple saba on the plate then drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the plate.
• Lay the arugula leaves around the prosciutto. Garnish each plate with the nasturtiums.