I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wild Boar Ragu

Happy New Year! Hope everyone has recovered nicely from the festivities. I myself am pushing through a cold that I believe is the result of way too little sleep and way too much booze. Probably worth it, though.

As January is still rather early in the winter season I should be sitting here craving something dense and hearty. Instead I am sweating and cursing the New York City gods that made it so I cannot regulate the heat in my own apartment. My windows are wide open, it's cold outside, and yet I feel like I am sweltering here at the computer. And I don't even want to think about turning on the oven (guess all that bread baking I was planning on once the temperatures dropped will have to wait). Thank god for the crock pot.

My husband is a huge fan of wild boar, therefore I have tried to prepare it in a couple of different ways. This way is hands down the best and it won't require you to turn on the oven. It is wonderful on its own but I love scooping it over a big bowl of noodles with a quick shredding of Parmesan cheese. Mmm. I am lucky enough to live in a city where wild boar can be purchased from a butcher just a train ride away, but if you are not so fortunate, please try this recipe out with pork shoulder instead. You will not regret it.

Wild Boar Ragu

1.5-2 lb boar shoulder or roast, tied
1 TB salt
1/2 TB pepper
1/2 c. chopped carrot
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped parsnip
1 TB fresh chopped thyme
3 TB cooking oil
3 TB tomato paste
32 oz. beef stock

Turn the crock pot onto the high setting to allow it to preheat.
Rub the boar shoulder all over with salt and pepper. Heat the cooking oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once it is hot, sear the boar shoulder on all sides. Then remove the boar and set aside. Turn the heat down to low and then add the carrot, celery, parsnip and thyme. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the beef stock to the pan and then return the heat to medium high until it begins to boil.
Next place the boar shoulder into the crock pot. Pour the stock and vegetables over top of it. Cook until the boar meat is tender and can be shredded with a fork (about 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low). Remove the meat, remove the twine that holds it together and then shred it using two forks. Then return the meat to the broth. Serve tossed with pasta.