WILD BOAR RAGÙ
A FRESH TAKE ON A CLASSIC TUSCAN DISH
It takes time to make this authentic Tuscan dish of wild boar in a rich red wine sauce, but the unbelievably delicious flavours are definitely worth the wait. Make it a celebration with fresh pasta, reggiano parmesan, good company and plenty of wine.
- 500g wild boar (or organic pork) shoulder or leg, cut into 2cm pieces
- 750ml btl red wine
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 tbs whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbs juniper berries
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, extra, crushed
- 2 tbs sun-dried tomato concentrate or ½ cup (140g) good-quality tomato paste
- 2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbs thyme leaves
- 1 tbs juniper berries, extra, crushed
- 2 cups (500ml) chicken or vegetable stock
- Cooked fresh pappardelle pasta, to serve
- Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to serve
- Green salad, to serve
- Wood-fired pane di casa, to serve
- Place the boar or pork in a large bowl and add enough of the wine to cover. Add garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, peppercorns, whole juniper berries, 1 rosemary sprig and 1 bay leaf. Cover and place in the fridge overnight to marinate.
- Drain the boar or port from the marinade. Pat dry with paper towel. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve into a jug and reserve. Discard solids.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cook the boar or pork for 2-3 mins each side or until browned all over.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 mins or until the vegetables start to caramelise slightly. Add the crushed garlic and sun-dried tomato concentrate or tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1-2 mins.
- Add the reserved marinade and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base, until the wine is reduced and all the alcohol has evaporated. Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Add remaining wine, thyme leaves, crushed juniper berries, remaining rosemary, remaining bay leaves and enough stock to just cover the meat. Cover and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender and the sauce thickens. Season.
- Stir in pasta. Serve with parmesan, salad and bread.