Wild Boar Ragù

A classic Italian ragù recipe using delicious wild boar, essentially from Michel Roux Jr. except I’m using dried marjoram instead of his fresh oregano.

This is good served over a fresh ribbon pasta such as papardelle and topped with fried, thickly sliced (large) mushrooms. Grated fresh parmesan to sprinkle is a must.

Planning

serves: 4
preparation time: 15 mins
cooking time: 2 hrs

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • flour (for dusting)
  • 900g wild boar, cut into 1½cm cubes
  • 100g pancetta lardons
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5cm strip orange rind
  • 375ml red wine
  • 2 tbs tomato purée
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, lightly coat the boar pieces in seasoned flour (shaking everything together in a large plastic food bag works well). Brown the boar cubes all over, doing it in batches to avoid crowding the pan. As the boar browns, transfer it to a plate using a slotted spoon. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and bubble off the alcohol.

In an ovenproof casserole (one with a lid), heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over low-medium heat. To the hot oil, add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Soften the vegetables, stirring occasionally, then add the pancetta lardons and orange rind. Cook for five minutes or so until the pancetta fat renders and the veggies are tinged at the edges.

Now add the browned boar meat. Add the tomato purée and stir to combine. Cook for two minutes, stirring to avoid burning.

From the sauté pan, pour over the warm red wine along with 200ml water. Sprinkle in the marjoram and bring to a simmer.

Cover the casserole with its lid and cook in the oven for 90 minutes, when the boar should be meltingly tender and the liquid reduced slightly. If the ragù still seems to be quite wet, remove the pan’s lid and simmer on the hob to reduce and thicken the liquid a little. Finally, adjust the seasoning to taste.

Serve the ragù over some freshly boiled ribbon pasta (or gnocchi works well, too).


Get a pdf version of this recipe.

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4 comments on “Wild Boar Ragù
  1. Steve says:

    Excellent stuff.

    Did you get the wild boar locally?

  2. JC says:

    It was local-ish; from the butcher in Frost’s garden centre at Woburn Sands.

  3. Steve says:

    Ah, thanks.

    Talking of garden centres, if you’re in the World’s End GC in Wendover, try the pork pie and the haslet (wrapped in bacon, which I hadn’t seen before) from Walter Smith, the butcher there. Both highly recommended, but not cheap 🙂

  4. JC says:

    Ooh, haslet; I haven’t had haslet for years.

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