|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Wild boar ragu is one of the most popular dishes in Italian restaurants, and it's usually served with pasta or polenta. If your grocery store or butcher doesn't carry it (they may be able to order it with 3 or 4 days notice), wild boar is available online. It is a little more expensive than organic pork. Wild boar has an intensely delicious flavor and is worth spending a bit extra for an extra-special dinner. This recipe is simple to prepare and is similar to Bolognese ragu. If you buy a wild boar shoulder, it will need to marinate overnight, as instructed below.
Ragu is a winter dish. Making a ragu is like playing jazz. You have to be creative, tasteful, and able to adapt to the circumstances. The beauty of ragu is that everybody is free to develop their own. Aside from meat and tomatoes, you can basically add whichever other spices and ingredients appeal to you.
- 1 pound wild boar shoulder (cut into ½-inch cubes or 1 pound ground wild boar)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1-1/4 cups red wine
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1/2cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cup whole milk
Put the diced wild boar in a non-reactive bowl. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add the wine, half of the diced celery and carrot, the smashed garlic cloves, sage, rosemary, and bay leaves to the bowl.
Reserve and refrigerate the remaining celery and carrot. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the wild boar overnight.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the wild boar to paper towels to drain. Remove the garlic cloves and chop.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot, then add the onion and reserved celery and carrot and garlic and sauté until softened, 5 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the carrots and celery in the marinade to the pot, and sauté another 5 minutes.
Add the wild boar to the pot, and brown on all sides, then stir in the wine and herbs from the marinade.
Increase the heat to high, and let the wine reduce 7 to 8 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.
Lower the heat, and simmer 1-½ to 2 hours, until the boar is tender. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Stir in the milk, and simmer the ragu another 30 minutes. Serve with a flat pasta like pappardelle, and grated Parmesan.