The other evening, we went out to a restaurant that had a Wild Boar Ragu special. It was phenomenal and inspired me to “reverse engineer” it and try to make it myself. This is the recipe that I came up with, and I am proud to say that I think that my version is even better than the one served at the restaurant. It was seriously delicious.
1 1/2 pounds wild boar shoulder or leg, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 sprig rosemary, torn in half
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2-3 cups Chianti or other red wine, as needed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small carrot, very finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, very finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 14.5 ounce canned whole tomatoes with liquid
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Tagliatelle, for serving
The night before making the ragu place the meat in a bowl with the rosemary, peppercorns, garlic and enough wine to cover. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Discard the rosemary and garlic. Drain the meat in a strainer set over a bowl, reserving the wine. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering, and add the carrot, celery and onion. Sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until all the liquid released by the meat has evaporated and the meat is browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the reserved wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is dry, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon or squishing with your hands as well as the garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes. Add 1 cup water, reduce heat to very low, and cook, partly covered, at a low simmer for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Add vegetable stock and thyme sprigs to the pot and return to a simmer. Place dutch oven in the oven and simmer, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until the meat begins to break apart, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from the oven and, using a whisk or spoon, break the meat into very fine shreds. Serve over tagliatelle.