Anyone for wild boar’s head?

“How about wild boar’s head?” he said, “we’ve still got one in the freezer. “ I stopped rifling through the cook book and stared at him, horrified. “What for New Year’s Eve? You must be joking.” He looked hurt. “I’ll cook it outside” he said and I remembered the smell. It needed boiling for several hours and last time had perfumed the house with the delicate fragrance of simmering bicycle tyres. It also resembled something that belonged on the set of Saw 4.

“Jamais de la vie!” I said, before returning my attention back to my recipes, thinking about last year’s New Year’s Eve fiasco. Instead of spending the 31st December at a bash in the village as planned, we had seen midnight come and go in the sheep barn in the midst of an early lambing season. I still had visions of my midwife husband kneeling in the hay in his blue overalls, one arm buried up to the elbow in the back end of a sheep as I wished him a happy New Year.

This year, instead of going out, we had decided to play it safe and invite a few friends over. (Un)fortunately, the friends in question happen to be enthusiastic amateur chefs, and if Michelin stars could be awarded to home cooks they would already have 3 each, plus bonus points. I wanted to impress them and serve something that was delicate, sophisticated and exquisitely presented. To my mind, this excluded lumps of boiled snout coated in eggs and garlic.

I sighed and gave up, snapping the book shut. I hated cooking and was lousy at it and I knew that when the time came, our companions would probably descend on my kitchen with armfuls of exotic ingredients and a thousand ideas for transforming them.

My husband had a far-away look in his eyes, as though he was mentally devouring freshly hunted wild boar’s head in some distant corner of his brain. I felt bad. “Look” I conceded “even if we don’t eat la tête de sanglier on New Year’s Eve, I’m sure they’ll come back again the day after to finish up the leftovers. Why don’t you cook it the next morning?”
 “No” he said, giving me a sheepish grin “I probably won’t feel up to it then.”

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8 Responses to Anyone for wild boar’s head?

  1. tut-tut says:

    I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten the head of anything . . .

  2. meredith says:

    Have you ever had bird’s head paté? Complete with the beaks and all, my french friends love serving me that.

  3. Heidi says:

    Ooh…and did you do it? How did it work out?


  4. Kathleen says:

    Hmmm…I think they serve boar at the Cabela’s restaurant…but I’m hoping it’s not the head.
    Are you thinking of New Year’s Eve already? Oh my…I can’t wrap my mind around the thought that it’s almost Christmas…and our Thanksgiving celebration is next week.

  5. LOL…he can’t stomach cooking a boar’s head with a hangover?!

  6. Julia says:

    Bird’s head pate complete with beaks?
    Boar’s head simmering in a pot?
    And all before le petit dejeuner?
    It’s enough to make even a carnivore reach for a celery stick!
    Seriously, please tell me that roast sanglier is ok because I have some lurking in my freezer and I was hoping for the best….

  7. Meredith – I have never had bird’s head paté. Here they tend to grind them up and eat them on toast!
    Julia – Roast sanglier is good. As long as it’s not the head you’ll be fine!

  8. What exactly does one eat of a boar’s head? Is there meat on it, or is it the brains? We Americans are fairly unadventurous when it comes to such things.

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