My neighbour at my first Languedoc house, in the top wine-making village of La Livinière, half-way between Carcassonne and Béziers, was a great hunter. M. André Galy went out with his syndicate, all old friends, twice a week in the hunting season, accompanied by his two charming dogs – fawn-coloured, with rough coats and long floppy ears, who couldn’t wait to get into his van on hunting days.
He gave me a piece of one of the boars he shot, a cut from the hind leg; it was as intractable as a tree trunk, and covered on one side in dense, dark, hairy fat that no knife could penetrate. He advised me to cook it in the oven in white wine. What he forgot to tell me was to marinate it for several days first, and to cook it for three or four hours.
Fortunately, although most wild boar recipes require red wine, I found one using white wine, which comes from Valleraugue in the Tarn. I based my version on this, which was first published by Prosper Montagné, the originator of Larousse Gastronomique, in his Trésor de la cuisine du bassin méditerranéen, a wonderful little book from 1937 containing the original and splendid recipes of no less than seventy French doctors.