March 2008

Akhtar Nawab’s brand new restaurant Elettaria in New York’s West Village – named for his daughter Ella and for a species of cardamom is an intimate, friendly, dark wood and brick affair with a kitchen flowing seamlessly out of the dining room and a menu of eclectically inspired dishes with a focus on spices. We stopped by to check out his kitchen and try one of the new dishes on his menu: wild boar loin with a heavily cumin-scented boar ragout, garnished with bok choy, cilantro, and bone marrow. The dish is a blend of Indian, Asian and Italian references – all highlighting the rich, nutty flavor of the incredibly tender and juicy boar loin (or “super pork,” as we decided it could be called).

Chef Akhtar Nawab of Elettaria – New York, NY

Boar Loin, Boar Ragout, Vermicelli, Bok Choy

“The boar is from upstate New York. I get it from D’Artagnan.”

“You don’t see this on many menus. You’ll see an Italian boar ragout with pasta, which is wonderful, but you rarely see other cuts. The loin has a fantastic flavor profile – it’s nutty and rich. The boar run wild, feeding off of nuts, and you can really taste that in the meat. Because they’re wild, the meat is particularly lean as well.”

“I braise the shoulder in red wine, stock, and aromatics (in a CVap). I cook the loin in the CVap with garlic and herbs, and finish by searing in a cast iron pan. The dish is garnished with marrow poached in milk.”

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Wild Boar Loin, Boar Ragout, Vermicelli, Bok Choy
Chef Akhtar Nawab of Elettaria – New York, NY
Adapted by


    Boar Ragout:
  • 16 ounces boar shoulder, medium dice
  • Zest of 2 oranges (no pith)
  • 1 carrot, medium dice
  • 2 stalks celery, medium dice
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 16 ounces red wine
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons ground toasted cumin
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 4 sprigs thyme

    Strip Loin:
  • 28 ounces wild boar strip loin
  • Garlic cloves
  • Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons brandy
  • Salt and pepper

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • 12 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 bunches baby bok choy
  • Butter
  • Thyme
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Poached marrow (optional)

For the Boar Ragout:
Set the CVap at 180 doneness and 3 browning. In a hot pan, sear the diced boar shoulder until well-caramelized. After searing all the shoulder meat add the carrot, celery, onion, and aromatics to the pan and sweat. Season with cumin seed. Add the red wine, then bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Next, add the seared boar meat back to the pan and then cover with the chicken stock. Bring back to a simmer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the pre-heated CVap to cook overnight or approximately 9 hours. When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the braising liquid to cool, reserving the braising liquid on the side. Pull apart the braised meat. Return the picked meat back to the braising liquid in a large sauce pot and simmer until the flavors are well developed. Season with more cumin, if necessary.

For the Strip Loin:
Portion the boar into 7-ounce portions and place in the CVap with garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. Cook at 120 doneness and 0 browning for at least 50 minutes.

To Assemble and Serve:
Cook rice vermicelli in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Strain, cool, and toss with vegetable oil so that the noodles don’t stick together. Blanch the baby bok choy in boiling salted water for about 90 seconds so that it still retains some crisp texture. Shock in ice water to stop cooking. Remove one portion of the par-cooked boar loin from the CVap. Sear loin in a cast iron pan with butter and thyme – be sure to sear all sides, then remove and let rest. Heat the boar ragu and fold together with the noodles. Heat the blanched bok choy in butter and season with salt. Remove and drain and excess butter. Spoon a portion on the noodles with boar ragout in the middle of the plate. Scatter the bok choy over the noodles. Slice the roasted loin and lay over the noodles and bok choy. Garnish with fresh cilantro and poached marrow, if desired.


By Heather Sperling
March 2008

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