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Italian recipes for wild boar

Italian recipes for wild boar
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  • Italian recipes for wild boar

    Post #1 - October 24th, 2005, 8:17 am
    Post #1 - October 24th, 2005, 8:17 am Post #1 - October 24th, 2005, 8:17 am
    I'm planning an italian game dinner in early November, and I'd like to serve a roast of wild boar as the main course (secondi piatti for you purists).

    I've ransacked my cookbook collection, but haven't seen anything. Anybody out there know where to find a good Italian recipe for wild boar?
  • Post #2 - October 24th, 2005, 8:45 am
    Post #2 - October 24th, 2005, 8:45 am Post #2 - October 24th, 2005, 8:45 am
    Mario Batali's book Molto Italiano has two boar recipes: Boar Ragu, and Sweet and Sour Boar (Cinghiale Agrodolce), which is a braised, brined boar that sounds kind of like a variation on sauerbraten (I'm sure Antonius will have something to say about that).
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #3 - October 24th, 2005, 10:32 am
    Post #3 - October 24th, 2005, 10:32 am Post #3 - October 24th, 2005, 10:32 am
    Dougmouse,

    I've only had boar a few times, and would like to enjoy it more often. Where did you procure the beast?

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - October 24th, 2005, 12:54 pm
    Post #4 - October 24th, 2005, 12:54 pm Post #4 - October 24th, 2005, 12:54 pm
    I saw MM make the Cinghiale in Agrodolce (a flayed leg, then rolled up) on his show a couple days ago. It looked GREAT. And pretty easy, even given the large # of ingredients. The kicker was the chocolate-flavored sauce !

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes ... 85,00.html
  • Post #5 - October 24th, 2005, 2:44 pm
    Post #5 - October 24th, 2005, 2:44 pm Post #5 - October 24th, 2005, 2:44 pm
    I just did a brief comparison of the two recipes. For the same amount of boar, the FoodTV one has three times the chocolate, and half the carrots of the one in Molto Italiano. Otherwise, pretty much the same.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #6 - October 24th, 2005, 2:51 pm
    Post #6 - October 24th, 2005, 2:51 pm Post #6 - October 24th, 2005, 2:51 pm
    DM:

    There are many recipes from Italy for boar. The ones better known in the States, it seems, tend to be from more northerly regions, especially Tuscany, but boar has been eaten traditionally all along the Appennines down to Calabria.

    There are some general tendencies in the treatment of boar across the regions: many recipes include garlic and peperoncini and the herbs most widely used with this meat are laurel and rosemary.

    Along those basic lines a typical preparation would be to:
    1) marinate the meat in vinegar and water for a day or two.
    2) brown the meat (usually with some lard).
    3) add a soffritto of at least garlic and peperoncino, though perhaps also with other aromatics (onion, carrot, celery, celery leaf, parsley), with laurel and/or rosemary.
    4) braise slowly for a few hours with a little water and wine.

    Some significant variations can be made through the inclusion of some pancetta or a little tomato (pomodori pelati or conserva or passata).

    Most recipes involve cutting the meat into smallish pieces though one could do the above with a large chunk or joint.

    For roasting a joint all' Italiana, you could marinate the meat for a couple of days in wine with the cut up aromatics and herb. One would then dry the meat and brown it in lard or oil and then roast it in the usual way.

    A fairly common accompaniment to roasted or braised boar in Italy is polenta.

    *

    Small pieces of boar meat cooked with a basic battuto, some red wine, laurel and a good dose of tomato can also be used as a substantial sugo to dress fresh pappardelle.

    *

    The best boar dish I ever tried in Italy was fresh guanciale di cinghiale at La Garga in Florence. Unfortunately, that was a rather long time ago now.

    *

    Beyond that, I'm inclined to add that some of the most elegant treatments of boar are to be found in Belgium. The boars, including rather young ones (marcassins), of the Ardennes in eastern Wallonia are much appreciated and have long been renowned for their quality. There are a number of great recipes in the Belgian (and Franco-Belgian or Belgo-French) repertoire, ranging from the relatively baroque to the very simple. A number of them involve apples (which also appear in some Italian recipes).

    *

    I hope that's of some help. I'm sure there must be recipes on line in English that purport to be Italian but, as in all cases, Google searches can turn up far more chaff than wheat, or perhaps that should be more gristle than meat. Hopefully, the notes above may be useful as background for further searching, though the preceding is pretty much how I think in terms of recipes.

    Anyway, welcome and, as Jacques Pépin would say, 'appy cooking!

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #7 - October 24th, 2005, 3:03 pm
    Post #7 - October 24th, 2005, 3:03 pm Post #7 - October 24th, 2005, 3:03 pm
    Antonius wrote:DM:

    Small pieces of boar meat cooked with a basic battuto, some red wine, laurel and a good dose of tomato can also be used as a substantial sugo to dress fresh pappardelle.



    I have had exactly this preparation and enjoyed it greatly. The pappardelle was the perfect pasta to compliment the boar. It reminded me very much of a proper ragu.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - October 25th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Post #8 - October 25th, 2005, 3:19 pm Post #8 - October 25th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Antonius,

    A question for you, if you don't mind. What exactly IS 'wild boar' ? Is it simply feral pig? or, as in the Texas javalina (?sp?), a different species--or so I've heard. I've had boar a couple of times in Norddeutshland and, truth to tell, it didn't taste all that much different from lean pig.

    What about the Italian 'wild boar'?

    Tnx!

    Geo
    PS. Actually, I heard something interesting a day or so ago: apparently, after only a few generations of feral existence, your standard barnyard piggy's feral descendents look *awfully* wild: tusks, lots of stiff hair, etc. Interesting result... (assuming what I heard is true).
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #9 - October 26th, 2005, 10:31 am
    Post #9 - October 26th, 2005, 10:31 am Post #9 - October 26th, 2005, 10:31 am
    Geo wrote:Antonius,
    A question for you, if you don't mind. What exactly IS 'wild boar' ? Is it simply feral pig? or, as in the Texas javalina (?sp?), a different species--or so I've heard. I've had boar a couple of times in Norddeutshland and, truth to tell, it didn't taste all that much different from lean pig.
    What about the Italian 'wild boar'?...

    PS. Actually, I heard something interesting a day or so ago: apparently, after only a few generations of feral existence, your standard barnyard piggy's feral descendents look *awfully* wild: tusks, lots of stiff hair, etc. Interesting result... (assuming what I heard is true).


    Geo:

    I think what you recently heard is indeed true: set some domestic pigs out in a nice wild environment and, within a few generations, they will have reverted to a rather wild and boar-like state. In fact, the javalinas (and javalí) you mention are such "swine gone wild" and are the descendants of the famous Iberian piggies that the Spanish brought to the New World.

    As I understand it, boar is the wild side of the same species that on its domesticated side is the basic, good old swine. And, I think, it is the case that while they're the same species, swine-gone-wild, that is, the domesticated variety allowed to go feral, eventually resembles more closely the original wild variety (boar) but maintains some of the characteristics that make the domesticated variety or varieties distinct from the original wild variety. That's what I gather from things I've read over the yeras but I claim no expertise in swinology; if someone has a firmer and more detailed account, I'm all ears.

    Beyond that, I believe that there are still some more or less genuinely wild boars running around certain parts of Europe but I find it hard to imagine they can have remained completely 'pure', i.e., not have become mixed with domesticated or semi-domesticated varieties. Throughout antiquity and on well into the Middle Ages, and to a very limited degree still in some places (esp. parts of Spain), swine were kept not in sties and pens but rather more like sheep, allowed to roam semi-wildly within a certain area. For swine, one talks of 'pannage' (i.e. the equivalent of 'pasturage' for pigs) and that would typically be in a given wood or subsection of a wood. In the early Middle Ages, when the forests in Western Europe were still very extensive, pigs were apparently very plentiful and even the lower strata of society had a significant portion of their diet comprised of pork products. As the great forests were cleared and estate run grain-farming (in effect, rendering more land easily exploited directly for the benefit of the powerful), pannage was lost and the lower classes' meat intake dropped considerably.

    Real boar is strong meat, which is why recipes for the meat of mature animals always starts with extensive marinating. Young boars, which in French have a specific name -- marcassin (as distinct from the adult sanglier, Obélix' favourite food) -- is of course more mild in flavour and thus more highly prized by many.

    I hope that's helpful.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #10 - October 29th, 2005, 11:42 am
    Post #10 - October 29th, 2005, 11:42 am Post #10 - October 29th, 2005, 11:42 am
    For the latest on the domestication of our friend the swine: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/c ... /5715/1618 (subscription required).

    Fun Facts: based on mitochondrial DNA sequences from 686 wild and domestic pig specimens, the origin of the wild boar was in island Southeast Asia, from where they radiated across Eurasia. New genetic data reveal seven centers of domestication across Asia and Europe. The DNA of the modern wild boar indicates an extraordinarily high correlation betwen phylogeny and geography, so the boar you eat from, say, the Maremma in Italy is really a very old Italian boar with little genetic mixing from elsewhere.

    I'm thinking pulled pork for lunch.
  • Post #11 - November 1st, 2005, 10:03 pm
    Post #11 - November 1st, 2005, 10:03 pm Post #11 - November 1st, 2005, 10:03 pm
    Antonius--
    Thank you so much for all the info-- sorry it's taken me so long to thank you on that. My logicians have been keeping me waaaay too busy, and then I've spent the last few days executing a gustatory assault with a pal upon Our Nation's Capital. [Full report to be rendered w/in the next 24 hours.]

    What wild boar I've eaten in Europe (had some in Poland last Summer) I've really liked. Particularly fondly remembered is the juniper-scented chop I had at a game restaurant near the Stadthalle in Hannover, whence I fled whilst escaping a dreary meeting of even drearier fellow academic. From bore to boar, not so bad. As you note, it's very strongly flavored. Yum.

    As Europe returns to wilderness, assuming the depopulation continues, I suspect there'll be an increasing supply of boar meat. Then Choey's point about location and critter might come down to appelation controlee pigs. We could do a tasting Polish vs. Catalonian boar, for example. Sounds good to me!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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