Make This Delicious Mostarda for Your Wild Game

Mostarda is a nice addition for big game, upland birds or waterfowl. Learn how to make this simple yet delicious preserve.

Make This Delicious Mostarda for Your Wild Game

The mostarda on top of tender, sliced pork adds a flavorful burst to the dish. (Photo: Alan Clemons)

Replete with the ruins of a once-stunning mansion along with heirloom roses dating to the 1700s, Barnsley Resort in northwest Georgia is a combination of quiet respite, modern amenities and a more simpler time.

I've visited Barnsley a few times to shoot clays at the Beretta Grounds, play golf and enjoy the getaway. Located near Adairsville and about 80 miles northwest of Atlanta, the resort has an array of tastefully furnished multi-room chalets and the 55-room Inn set amid relaxing grounds.

Every time I've visited, either for work or with family, I've come away relaxed and having learned something new. During an early-summer visit to celebrate our university graduate, for example, the shrub outside our cabin was unfamiliar. After looking up a few sites online I determined it was quince, an edible fruit that once was well-known in the Southeast.

Another new thing I learned about during dinner one evening was mostarda, a flavorful fruit-based topping for meats. It originated in northern Italy where it was served with boiled meats. Given that most boiled meats are pretty bland, it's not surprising that something with some flavor and zing was added. Over time, mostarda came and went as food tastes changed. Today, along with meat it is a nice addition on charcuterie boards to  balance the bite of cured meats and myriad cheeses.

At Barnsley, I immediately thought about it going on wild game, such as venison, pork or waterfowl. Barnsley Executive Chef Nicolas Lebas agreed.

"This apple Mostarda would be a great accompaniment with quail, squab, wild boar, and venison because of the tartness of the Granny Smith and the light crunch of the pickled mustard seed," Lebas said. "You can cook it longer to almost a jam-like texture ,or leave some crunch “al dente” to the apple depending on anyone taste."

Because the mostarda is fruit-based, you can find several kinds that might be fun to try. Here is a recipe for Dried Apricot and Cherry Mostarda from Food & Wine. And, another with candied fruits that might be interesting to try. It doesn't take long to make.

Between the sweet burst from the fruit and tang of mustard, you'll have a nice addition for big game or fowl that would fit in at home or camp.

Here is the recipe from Barnsley Resort for its Apple & Limone Mostarda:

Apple & Limone Mostarda

·       2 each lemon zests and juice
·       2 cups dry white Vermouth
·       1.5 cup granulated white sugar
·       2 each bay leaves
·       2.5 Tablespoons pickled mustard seeds *
·       2 lbs. Granny Smith apples, diced
·       2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

How To Prepare

Combine lemon juice, sugar, bay leaves, mustard seed and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. In the meantime, peel and dice the apples. Add the apples to the sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Cook until the apples are soft and the juices are reduced and syrupy, about 30-45 minutes.

Remove bay leaves. Stir in the Dijon mustard and lemon zest, and let cool.

This mostarda can be enjoyed hot with the pork chop, or cold with a cheese and meat board.

(recipe serves up to 12 people)

* Pickled mustard seeds are easy to make and save. Find the dried seeds in your purveyor and follow the directions in this recipe to make your own.


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