As mentioned recently I got a shoulder of wild boar from the excellent John’s Meat Company in Monkstown: a large 5kg bone-in joint with the sort of marbling that unfortunately has been bred out of commercial pigs. Obviously as it was whole I had to debone the cut myself which was actually fine; I took my time and followed the contours of the muscles so I managed to keep them intact. I could have just hacked at the meat as I knew I’d just be making a few stews (in the end I fed eleven people) but having the individual muscles meant I could ensure I was cutting across the grain when dicing. I also had the bone and plenty of trimmings to make stock out of: the process is identical to one I gave for making rabbit stock in the link at the start of this post.
I originally bought the shoulder mainly to make a Rick Stein recipe but unfortunately it didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. This was mainly because the figetellu sausage I used had been sitting the fridge for around a year and had developed some off flavours and also because I roasted the chestnuts for too long and had to throw them all out (not my finest moment in the kitchen!). In the end it was still nice but the version I’d made before with chorizo was better and I’d rather be completely satisfied with a dish before doing a full post about it.
A few nights before though I’d made a lovely slow cooked pasta sauce I was really happy with. My nonna used to say the best meat to make a sugo (it’s just Italian for sauce but we used the word to refer to one specifically for pasta) from was pork and given boar is just a more flavourful version I knew it would work really well. In Italy what generally happens is that the meat is removed from the pot before the pasta goes in and is eaten as a separate course with some sautéed greens or other vegetables; I normally just mix everything through and serve in one go though. This recipe will work for any type of meat although obviously you ought to change the type of stock and wine to match.
750g wild boar shoulder, cubed
100g celery, finely chopped
100g carrots, finely chopped
100g onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
150ml white wine
300ml wild boar stock
- Heat a pan over a high heat and melt the lard.
- Brown the meat, in batches if necessary, and transfer to a stew pot.
- Add the celery, carrots and onion to the pan and fry for around 15 minutes being careful not to brown the onion.
- Add the anchovies and garlic and cook until the anchovies have dissolved.
- Pour in the white wine and boil off most of the alcohol and transfer the contents of the pan to the stew pot.
- Add the passata and the stock to the stew pot and simmer for around two hours or until the meat is very tender.
- In a pot of heavily salted, boiling water cook the pasta until it is al dente.
- Remove the meat from the stew pan and mix in the pasta until evenly coated.
- Divide the pasta between four plates and top with the meat and Parmigiano-Reggiano or eat the meat separately with some sautéed greens as a second course.