What I like about game is the method by which it is prepared, the long marinade with wine and herbs that produces dense, sumptuous flavor. What I don’t particularly like is the undomesticated taste of game itself, especially the furred varieties.
Boar are plentiful in Italy, especially in Tuscany and Umbria, for whose vineyards they are something of a menace, feeding on the young plantings. Grape growers retaliate by turning the pests into boar sausages, boar prosciutto, and dishes such as the one below.
Instead of boar, I have used pork, whose tenderloin is so much more succulent. Otherwise I have followed the classic procedure, marinating the meat overnight in olive oil, onion, garlic, herbs, and red wine. My husband suggests that the ideal wine to use would be Rosso di Montalcino. Like its sibling, Brunello di Montalcino, it is made from the sangiovese grape, whose juicy, fruity quality is exactly what you want in a marinade. Other Italian red wines from that same grape, such as Chianti or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, would be good choices, or you may turn with comparably good results to a Rhône, a California merlot, or an Australian shiraz, among others.
Had I fresh porcini mushrooms available I would unquestionably use those, but when there are none in the market, I am content with fresh shiitake caps. I cook the shiitake in butter because it gives them a luscious mouth feel recalling that of porcini, but if you’d rather use olive oil, as in the rest of the recipe, you may.
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