Wild Boar with Chilli and a touch of Chocolate
Source: The Times
This is a perfect feast to make after Christmas and New Year as, once prepared, you can just pop it into a low oven and let it cook slowly all day, or even all night. Get some help preparing the vegetables and you can honestly have it licked in 25 minutes. Then go on a long walk, play some poker or canasta, read a book and enjoy some guilt-free drinking. Later, when you are ready with your mash, hey, presto: you can whip out a warm, rich supper fit for a king and knock the socks off your family.
It improves in flavour over a day or two, so you can make it in a lull and just heat it up when the masses descend on you. I like to flavour it with a little chilli and chocolate, which is inspired by my time spent in Mexico but in fact originates from Sicily with deliciously silky homemade pasta.
Do make sure that the daube is hot when you put it in the oven to ensure the best melting effect on the meat.
Wild Boar daube with garlic, shallots and a touch of chocolate
• 2 kg, cut into bite-size chunks
• 150g flour, seasoned
• 3 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
• 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
• 10-12 shallots, peeled
• 7 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
• Half head of celery, roughly chopped
• Cinnamon stick
• 5 bay leaves
• 2-3 sprigs thyme
• 2-3 dried red chillies, crumbled
• 6 juniper berries
• 10 peppercorns
• One and a half bottles of rich red wine
• 500ml stock or water
• 50g dark chocolate
Dust the boar pieces in the seasoned flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on high and brown the meat all over in batches, using more oil with each batch as necessary and always ensuring that the pan is smoking hot. Reserve.
Heat another 2 tbsp of oil and brown the vegetables in batches too so that they all become nicely caramelised, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. When you have finished put all the vegetables and meat back into the pan with all the rest of the ingredients minus the chocolate. Put back on the heat so that the wine and stock have a chance to come up to temperature.
Put into a low oven (110-120C) for a minimum of three hours or even overnight. If you cook this the day before it will improve in flavour and can just be gently heated. You may find that the boar has given off a little fat when cooking which you will want to skim off. When ready to serve, stir in the chocolate, season to taste and serve with a mustard and crème fraîche celeriac mash, normal mash or delicious Parmesan enriched polenta, Sicilian style.