As our bairns are into Asterix and Obelix right now, they have been insisting that we would roast a whole, wild boar, the favourite food of Obelix. To make something more doable, I prepared Cinghiale alla Cacciatora, my version of a common dish in Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany. Every household seems to have their own version of this great dish. Some prepare it without traditional soffritto (i.e. onions, carrots and celery) and some marinate the meat overnight, but many use garlic, bay leaves and juniper berries.
For my version of Cinghiale alla Cacciatora, you need to cut a boneless leg of wild bore (500–600 g) in small bits. You also need 2 bay leaves, a twig of rosemary, 1 ts of dried peperoncino, 4 juniper berries, 1–2 red oninons finely chopped, 1 finely diced carrot, 1/3 dl of white wine vinegar, tomato puree (passato di pomodoro), extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
"Sweat" the meat in a moderate flame in a dry pan (don't use any olive oil here!) together with a pinch of salt, bay leaves, rosemary, pepperoncino and juniper berries. Cover the pan with a lid and remove the liquids as they surface. (This will get rid of some of the strong flavour of the wild boar.). Continue sweating the meat until the it releases no more liquids, approximately for 30–40 minutes. The meat should have also browned slightly. Now mix in the white wine vinegar and let it evaporate entirely.
Meanwhile fry in another pan in olive oil the red onions, diced carrot, pepperoncino and the garlic. Finally transfer the meat in this pan together with 700 grams of tomato puree, cover with a lid and continue simmering until the sauce has thickened, at least for an hour or so. (Note that cooking time varies depending on the age of the boar.). Season with salt and pepper.
Cinghiale alla Cacciatora can be used as a pasta condiment or served as main course with e.g. some salad and bread.
|"I now prefer wild boar to lamb meat", said our 5-year old bairn when he tasted Cinghiale alla Cacciatora for the first time.|
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