SERVES 10 TO 12
Wild boar is synonymous with Tuscany. Many places selling the meat have a boar's head displayed somewhere in the shop or out by the doorway. The best way to cook it is in a stew with aromatic vegetables and a good red wine. This is the dish I made for the farmhands at Spannocchia with some help from Graziella and Gaetana, who prepared the battuto, the aromatic vegetables that would be reduced to a fine mince and used to flavor the stew.
The recipe is enough for a crowd or to freeze some for later use. Use stew beef as a substitute.
4 celery stalks with tops, cut into quarters
5 small onions, peeled and quartered
6 medium carrots, quartered
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup sage leaves
1/3 cup rosemary needles
1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 pounds boar or beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 1/2 to 4 cups Chianti wine
To make quick work of the battuto put the celery, onions, carrots, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients look coarse. Add the parsley, sage, and rosemary needles and continue to process until there is a fine mixture. Or use a chef's knife and mince all the ingredients.
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and when it begins to shimmer, lower the heat to medium and stir in the battuto ingredients. Cook the mixture stirring occasionally until the vegetables are wilted.
Dry the meat pieces with paper towels.
In a large bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the meat pieces, close the bag at the top and shake it vigorously to coat the meat in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and place the meat on a dish.
Remove the wilted vegetables to a dish and set aside. If the pan seems dry, pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Raise the heat to medium high and brown the meat, in batches if necessary, until it is nicely browned. Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine. Allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and stir in the reserved vegetables.
Add additional wine to just cover the meat if necessary. Cover the pot and allow the stew to cook for about 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
Correct the seasoning by adding additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve the stew hot.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA IN TUSCANY by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2003.
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