Wild Boar Rack with Apple Whiskey Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

4 wild boar rack chops, bone-in, totaling approx. 1.2 kg
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
3 tablespoons softened butter (optional)

Brine:
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Whiskey sauce:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced white onion
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, loosely packed
Pork chop trimmings
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup crushed canned tomato
½ cup whiskey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups apple juice
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Trim the pork chops; save the trimmings for the sauce. Place the chops in a re-sealable plastic bag. (To help them retain a uniform shape and make them easier to work with, tie a piece of kitchen twine around the sides of each chop before placing it in the bag.) Place the water, sugar, and salt for the marinade in a small bowl, stir well to incorporate, and pour over the pork chops in the bag. Seal the bag shut and marinate the pork chops in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
Make the Whiskey Sauce (see below) and keep warm.

1. Preheat a cast iron pan, take the chops out of the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard the marinade. Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper to taste. Brush each side of the pork chops with the extra light olive oil. You do not need to use all of it.

2. Reduce the heat on the burner to medium and cook the chops for 3 to 4 minutes per side with the cover down. Place the chops on a tray and cover with foil.

3. Bring the Whiskey Sauce to a boil in a saucepan large enough to hold all of the chops. Add the chops and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the chops, basting them with the sauce, for 2 to 3 more minutes over medium-low heat. Once they’ve finished cooking, remove the twine.

4. Place each chop in an individual serving dish. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until it thickens to the desired consistency. Add the optional butter, swirling it in the pan until it melts completely. Pour the Whiskey Sauce over the chops, and serve.

To prepare the Whiskey sauce:

Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a large saucepan and warm over high heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the onion, carrot, celery, apple, rosemary and pork chop trimmings; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring well, for 3 to 4 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and the crushed tomato, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring well. Add the whiskey and the Worcestershire sauce, and increase the heat to high. Stir well until reduced by two-thirds, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apple juice and chicken stock; bring to a boil, and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, pushing the pulp through with a rubber spatula and trying to extract as much liquid as possible. Bring the strained sauce to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the liquid reduces by about one-third and reaches a thick consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm until you’re ready to use it, or store, covered, in the refrigerator once it cools down. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.