Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dumas Celebrates Pork Month

Alexandre Dumas is best known for the Three Musketeers (at least 29 different film versions listed on IMDB, as one measure of its popularity) and The Count of Monte Cristo (at least 18 versions) but he also wrote a gigantic work called the "Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine." I just bought the little tiny abridged version, recently republished. It's not exactly a cookbook but he does give recipes, so in honor of Louise's Cookbook Game at Months of Edible Celebrations, I'm going to share a recipe in honor of Pork Month. That's what we do in this game: we pick a current MONTH, like Apple Month or in this case Pork Month, which is celebrated in October, and we find a recipe in a cookbook we like.

The recipe in the tiny version of the "Grand Dictionnaire" which is titled From Absinthe to Zest: An Alphabet for Food Lovers, doesn't just have any old entry for pork: it has "Young Wild Boar," which in French is "marcassin." The recipe is for "Quarter of wild boar with cherry sauce." You would surely want to make it, if you happened to have a "fresh tender quarter of a young wild boar." Dumas suggests that you start by dealing with the bone -- his description is detailed, on how to do this so that the bone protrudes properly from the meat. Then you put the meat in a litre of marinade, and let it macerate for two or three days, you cook it and baste it, drain it and "mask it with a thick layer of breadcrumbs (from black bread) which have been dried, pounded, sieved, mixed with a little sugar and cinnamon, and then dampened with some good red wine, but only enough to make them stick together." There are a few more instructions on cooking it, and finally putting "a paper frill around the protruding bone."

The Cherry Sauce for the meat is made separately, from dried, unpitted cherries, softened in water and then pounded in a mortar. Additional ingredients include red wine, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and lemon zest, all thickened with starch.

Sounds delicious, doesn't it?


~~louise~~ said...

Oh this is just hysterical, Mae. What makes it even more laughable is that it's for Pork Month. Last week someone sent a recipe for rendered lard. So now we know what to do with some of the leftovers, lol...

Now, I have to figure how to tweet it. Thanks for joining in the Cookbook Party, Mae. I'm going to link this post to a Dumas post I did a while back. Now, I need to add yet another book to my wish list!!!

Gone-ta-pott said...

That was a lot of fun to read!