Rustic Wild Boar Ragout
Emily Nunn | Yield: 3-4
Food writer Emily Nunn braises wild boar with white wine and fresh fennel for a lighter take on a classic Italian ragout. She uses a technique from cookbook author Giuliano Bugialli: cutting the boar with scissors, which maintains integrity of meat.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrots, finely chopped
- 3/4 pound Wild Boar Mini Roast, about half of a roast
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, removed from stem
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can (15 oz) whole Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juice
- 2 cups chicken stock, veal stock is preferable, and can be made from D'Artagnan's Veal Demi-Glace
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 pinch finely crushed fennel seeds, use mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder
- 2 to 3 big pinches crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- Slice roast into 1/4 inch slices. Using culinary scissors, cut the slices into 1/4 strips. Then snip the strips into tiny pieces with kitchen scissors. Spread the meat out on a plate, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Cook onion and fennel until translucent. Add garlic, celery, carrots and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden. Add boar meat and cook until it loses its pink color.
- Add the white wine; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until almost all the wine has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Add sage, thyme, and bay leaves. Add tomatoes, crushing with your fingers before dropping into pot; don’t forget to add the juices, too. Stir in chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and let cook at a lively simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in one cup of lowfat milk, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper, nutmeg. Continue to cook for another hour at a lively simmer. You should have a very thick sauce.
- Let the sauce cool a bit. Using a potato masher, smash the sauce to break up any largish chunks of meat.
- Reheat and serve tossed with papardelle and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. This sauce is even better refrigerated overnight and served the next day.