Boar Ragu With Pappardelle

As the ragu simmers, the boar meat will absorb much of the liquid, which is ideal because of the leanness of the meat. Pork shoulder may be substituted for the boar. The ragu may be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated to allow the flavors to develop.

Boar Ragu With Pappardelle i
Lynda Balslev for NPR
Boar Ragu With Pappardelle
Lynda Balslev for NPR

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound boar shoulder, cut in 1-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 large celery rib, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes with juices

2 cups full-bodied red wine

3 bay leaves

1 bouquet garni: 1 tablespoon crushed juniper berries, 8 black peppercorns, 6 whole cloves tied in cheesecloth with kitchen string

1 pound pappardelle, prepared per manufacturer's instructions

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season boar all over with salt and pepper. Add boar to the skillet in batches and brown on all sides, taking care to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer meat to a bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Saute onion, carrots and celery, scraping up brown bits, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute, 1 minute. Return boar with any juices to the pan. Add tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves and bouquet garni. Simmer over very low heat, partially covered, until meat is falling-apart tender and sauce is reduced and thickened, about 2 hours. Discard bay leaves and bouquet garni. Serve ladled over pappardelle, topped with grated cheese.

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