2 pounds boneless wild boar shoulder, cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, small dice (about 1/2 cup)
2 ribs celery, small dice (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium fresh bay leaf
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup hearty Italian red wine, such as Sangiovese
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups low-sodium beef broth, or brown veal stock
Frank De Carlo, chef at Peasant in New York City, turns to this wild boar ragu, served with ricotta gnocchi, when he has a hungry crowd to please. The ragu has a robust wine flavor, which we really liked; if you prefer a mellower taste, reduce the wine to 3/4 cup.
What to buy:Wild boar, also known as cinghiale, is the feral ancestor of the domestic pig. Recent demand for its flavorful, hearty meat has led this porcine wild child to be domesticated and farmed. It’s sometimes difficult to find at your local grocer; you can purchase it online from Broken Arrow Ranch.
1Combine boar with carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and red wine in a sealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
2Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange the rack in the middle. Remove meat from the marinade and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reserve marinade for later.
3Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add meat and sear until nicely browned, about 6 minutes per side. (You may have to do this in 2 batches.)
4Add reserved marinade, tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth, and bring to a simmer.
5Cover the pot and place in the oven until meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. When meat is tender, shred it with two forks and mix well. Keep ragu warm over low heat until ready to combine with ricotta gnocchi.