Not So Wild Boar Ragout
That’s the major, but not the only substitution in this recipe.
1 large red onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 pounds boneless pork, cut for stew
28 oz can chopped tomatoes*
3 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 dried chili peppers, crushed
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves (not to be confused with the cloves of garlic)
3 sun-dried tomatoes, cut up randomly with a knife or scissors
3 anchovies, or 1 tsp anchovy paste
fresh or dried oregano, basil and sage
1 T or so balsamic vinegar**
salt and pepper to taste
pasta (fettuccine works best)
grated percorino, myzrithia or other hard sheep’s milk cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
Bump the heat up to high, add the pork and sear on all sides. Do not cook it through. Turn/stir it frequently just until it’s cooked on the outside.
Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaves, followed by the wine.
One ingredient at a time, stir in the garlic, crushed chilis, cinnamon stick, cloves, sun dried tomatoes, oregano/basil/sage and balsamic vinegar.
Put a lid on the pot loosely and reduce the heat enough to keep the whole mess just at a low simmer. keep it simmering for a minimum of two hours (adding water if necessary)and stir occasionally. The idea here is to get the meat to be falling-apart tender, and the longer it simmers, the more tender and broken apart it’ll be.
When the meat has pretty much lost all definition and most of the liquid has either evaporated off or been absorbed by the meat, it’s done. It’ll kinda resemble the consistency of pulled pork barbeque, but not so long and stringy because it’s been chunked up for stewing (see note below).
Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves, ladle over the pasta and garnish with the grated cheese. Make sure to have some good crusty bread around to mop up the sauce too.
* I used a can of whole stewed tomatoes that I cut roughly with kitchen shears while they were still in the can. Fresh tomatoes would be exponentially better, of course.
** The original recipe called for red wine vinegar, but I’m a sucker for the depth that balsamic gives.
Note: This would also make an awesomely simple pork stew. Just add the vegetables of your choice and don’t cook so long that the meat disintegrates
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