Thursday, June 28, 2018

Tuscan Wild Boar Sauce

In Italy all recipes are local and very specific. Traipsing about Ravenna, Italy, two years ago, we happened upon a great restaurant with an enthusiastic owner who used fresh wine in everything (it turns to vinegar quickly). We were promptly fed wild boar sauce (use your best Italian accent to say that aloud as it is part of the pleasure) and chocolate cake. Wild boar sauce could be made with venison, other game, or even fresh pork in other parts of the world. 

This version of wild boar sauce is Tuscan. Lest you think that wild boar are running about, they are not. We're in Castiglioncello, a lovely seaside town, where we had a cooking class with Simon, and Simon knows a guy (that's how you get fresh wild boar in summer). If you understand Italian or just want to see some of the fun, take a look at Simon's cooking show

Tuscan Wild Boar Sauce
from Simon Devone

Wild boar butt with shank
Celery, remove tough outer green fiber
Red onion
Garlic clove, remove the “anima” or green stem part
Sage sprigs
Rosemary springs
Bay leaf
Juniper berries
Young red wine
Olive oil
Vegetable stock
Double concentrate tomato paste
Tuscan Cocoa Pappardelle

Helpful Tools
Container with lid for marinade
Cuisineart or dice
Large saute pan
Large pot
Small pot

Marinade. In a container with a lid, place meat and bones. Cut vegetables into large chunks and add to meat. Add springs of fresh sage, rosemary, and a bay leaf. Add ten juniper berries. Cover all with wine. Soak for six to twenty hours. Drain and discard everything except the meat and bones. 

Soffritto. Start with fresh vegetables and use only one of each item- celery, carrot, red onion, garlic clove. Place all vegetables and fresh spring of sage into cuisinart. Pulse about six times until forms a medium dice. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables (they should hiss when they hit the oil) and immediately turn heat to low. Add ten juniper berries and a fresh bay leaf. Pull needles from two rosemary sprigs and add. Gently saute until onions are clear, about 10 minutes. May add a spoonful of water as need to prevent scorching. Place cooked vegetables into large pot.

Sauce. Slice meat into bite sized pieces and brown it in heated olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add browned meat to large pot with vegetables. Add salt, pepper, and a cup of red wine to pot over high heat to cook off wine, about 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium low and allow to simmer. In small pot with a lid, simmer a quart of vegetable stock over low heat. In a heat proof container or measuring cup, add 4 heaping tablespoonfuls of tomato paste, 2 ladles of hot stock, and stir together until dissolved. Add slurry to large pot. Simmer without a lid. If dry, add more stock very slowly until reduced and cooked down, one to two hours. Discard bones and bay leaves. Add cooked Tuscan Cocoa Pappardelle and serve warm (do not serve with parmesan cheese).

Tuscan Wild Boar Sauce

Tuscan Wild Boar Sauce with Tuscan Cocoa Pappardelle

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