Cinghiale alla Cacciatora

Wild Boar Cacciatora

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Cinghiale, or wild boar, is synonymous with Tuscan cuisine. In the forests and mountains of the entire region, this wild animal, closely related to the domestic pig but much stronger in flavour, has long been prized for its excellent meat. The hunting season opens in late October or early November, and the local hunters, accompanied by packs of special dogs, take great pride in seeking out these intelligent, fast-moving beasts. Serve with greens, such as spinach.

Ingredients

  • 45 ml/3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 900 g/2 lb wild boar meat
  • about 500 ml/17 fl oz/2 ¼ cups dry red wine
  • 1 large rosemary sprig
  • wilted spinach, to serve (optional)

For the Cacciatora Sauce

  • 75 ml/5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 300 ml/½ pint/¼ cups basic tomato sauce
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Put the oil in a large pan and fry the onions, celery and carrots for 10-15 minutes, or until well browned.

  2. Meanwhile, cut the wild boar into large chunks and place in a deep bowl.

  3. Pour in the wine and add the rosemary and then the vegetables. The wine should cover the meat completely; add more wine if necessary and mix everything together with your hands. Leave to marinate overnight.

  4. Drain and dry the meat, reserving the marinade. In a wide, preferably non-stick, pan, brown all the meat so that it releases its juices.

  5. Once the meat has released its liquid, remove and set it aside. Discard the liquid left in the pan.
  6. To make the cacciatora sauce, add the oil to the pan with the garlic, onion and chilli. Fry together for 5 minutes, stirring, then pour over the tomato sauce. Season with salt and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the meat and the marinade vegetables to the sauce. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, until tender. Add more of the marinade if the meat appears to be drying out.
  8. Serve with wilted spinach, if you like.