Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Cacciucco di Cinghiale" (Wild Boar Stew) - here is the recipe! by Massimo Bucci

"Cacciucco di Cinghiale" (Wild Boar Stew) . This is a variation of the recipe of Pellegrino Artusi. I was tired of filling the sauce of this fantastic meat with tomatoes, so I looked for a way for bridging the taste across generations. I omitted the raisins and candied fruits from the original recipe to create a flavor that is more appealing to the palates of today’s youth, presenting a dish that is similar in concept to the famous Cacciucco Livornese. Believe me, making this dish isn’t complicated at all, you just need to keep paying attention so as not to affect the final result.
This is a unique dish that goes well with a nice red Monteregio di Massa Marittima wine, the choice of which, I’ll leave to the consumers to sort out for themselves from the various captivating labels that we fortunately have.
Let’s start with a nice leg of wild boar, and I hope you have someone at your house who deals with wild boar hunters, and that they don’t get stingy when they supply you of this royal meat.

A nice leg of wild boar to start with

Start cutting it down to smaller pieces

Without cutting yourself please!

Cut it into little pieces, removing all the fat parts, and keep a few chops that you retrieve from another piece of the wild boar

Start preparing the marinade with red wine and red wine vinegar

Now, add some aromatic herbs and leave it for 24 hours

Let’s go through the steps of the recipe:

1 kg leg of wild boar;
½ red onion
2 celery stalks
½ carrot
1 garlic clove
Juniper berries

Bay leaves

30 g dark unsweetened cocoa

The cooking takes 2 hours after the meat has been marinated for 24 hours in red wine, red wine vinegar, bay leaves, rosemary, sage, juniper berries, so don’t bother looking for a fast way to do it.  Enjoy your time with a nice glass of wine, some cheese, two slices of prosciutto (ham), and do everything while listening to some good music.. you have to stay there like a watchman!
Now let’s chop half an onion, half of a big carrot, 2 very long celery stalks, a pinch of parsley, ground chili, and put tem all right into a cooking pot with some real olive oil (and here I’ll leave to you the task of obtaining it yourselves from a friend or a shop in your neighborhood).

When the meat (cut in small pieces) and the chops have been browned on all sides, start adding the liquid of the marinade bit by bit, keeping the heat low.
Halfway through cooking start adding salt and pepper gradually and continue cooking on low heat. Then, take almost 1/3 of the meat, grind it, and put it back in pot for the final cooking stage maintaining enough liquid sauce with boiling water and red wine (don’t make it dry out or it won’t be a stew!!)
As soon as the meat reaches the desired tenderness, sprinkle it with the dark unsweetened cocoa powder (of absolute high quality), make it blend in for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let it rest.
Prepare a bruschetta of Tuscan bread (unsalted) and scrubbed with garlic and rosemary to taste, a sprinkle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, putting it in a bowl or deep dish, and pour over it the wild boar stew or “cacciucco di cinghiale”, like that made of ground meat, small meat pieces, meat chops, and lots of sauce..

If you made it with love and you enjoyed it, it has to come out like this. If not, try again or call me so that we go through everything together. Buon appetito!

Advice: It’s great to prepare it in the morning to eat it for dinner or the day after.. and if you don’t feel like eating it all this way, you can remove the chops, add some pappardelle or macheroni and a bit more of olive oil.  And if you don’t feel like cooking it to begin with, make a reservation at my restaurant or I can come to your house.

Ciao everyone!

 Massimo Bucci 

 +39 320 8023081