the appetizer:

Off The Menu, Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants by Marissa Guggiana includes recipes like Wild-Boar Ragu; Herb Biscuits with Cheese; Ricotta Pancakes with Roasted Applesauce; and Roasted Whole Croaker and Cabbage Slaw.



Wild-Boar Ragu

Serves 6 to 8

Wild-Boar Ragu


Boar meat is gamey and sweet and has all the bristle and tusk of the animal itself. (If it doesn't happen to be boar season or you haven't the slightest clue where to procure a boar, you can use pork butt instead.) Boar is especially suited to a tomato-based ragu, which softens the flavor and distributes the fat into a sauce bordering on stew. My family serves this over polenta, as is traditional on our bit of earth in Northern Italy, but it is right at home on spaghetti, as it was served to me at Tabard Inn.

  • 3 onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 4 ounces pancetta lardoons
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3/4 pounds wild boar shoulder or pork butt, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1-3/4 pounds ground wild boar shoulder or ground pork butt
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed chili flakes
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In a food processor, pulse the onions, carrots, celery, and anchovy. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the red wine to half the amount, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a large skillet over high heat, slightly brown the pancetta and strain off most of the fat. Add the vegetable-and-anchovy mixture, rosemary, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 8 minutes, then add the meat, reduced wine, stock, tomatoes, paste, and chili flakes. Simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours. Add the heavy cream and adjust seasoning. Serve the ragu with pasta or polenta.

  • from:
    Off The Menu
    Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants
  • by Marissa Guggiana
  • Welcome Books 2011
  • Paperback, 288 pages, $40.00
  • ISBN-10: 1599621029
  • ISBN-13: 978-159962-102-9
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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