Wild boar, or “cinghiale” is a typical winter meal for many Sardinians. The island of Sardinia is full of wild boar and with any over-populated animal comes the inevitable, hunting season! The hunting season begins sometime in November and lasts for about 3 months.
My father-in-law enjoys the “sport” and usually catches enough to freeze and prepare at a later date…which usually ends up being when we come for a visit in the summer! My husband’s great-aunt offered to come over one afternoon to cook us up a traditional wild boar stew. (I’m not a carnivore at heart but I have to say it was quite delicious!)
Here’s the future meal in question… ;-(
Wild boar meat is very lean and sweet and has a somewhat nutty flavour. The particular stew that is typical to the Gallura (Northeastern) region is “Cinghiale in agrodolce” (or “sweet and sour wild boar stew”).
The boar is usually boiled before preparation to reduce the gamey flavour. The skin is quite thick (and hairy-eww!!!) and therefore takes quite a bit of time to cook.
My father-in-law chopping away…
Makeshift “stove” near the garden for frying…and making wild boar stew! What a brilliant alternative to frying food in the house (which usually results in someone smelling like dinner for a week after!)
Have we gone back to the middle ages? I love the authenticity!
The more time I spend in Italy the more I come to realize that the best recipes aren’t actually recipes at all! It’s all about “ad’occhio” or as we would say, “eyeballing” it! Take this recipe for example, the one thing I could get out my husband’s great-aunt is that ‘the younger the wild boar is, the less time it takes to cook.’ As for specific measurements of the ingredients…it’s all “ad’occhio!”
Here’s the “recipe” in a nutshell!
Step 1: Cook the meat with olive oil for “some” time…
Step 2: Add salt, vinegar and sugar “ad’occhio” then cook some more…
Step 3: After “some” time, add parsley and garlic then add water (enough to just cover the meat). Cook some more…
Step 4: Cook until the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened…and…VOILA!
Just recently my son ate red mullet roe…and liked it! I figured wild boar would be worth a shot too! Besides, we figured out very early on that he is a “foodie” (just like mom and dad!).
“Cinghiale in agrodolce” with steamed arborio rice…yum!
The “food critic”…(Yah, I know, he doesn’t look too impressed. I have no idea why..new bowl maybe?!) Anyway, for the record, I can tell you that he couldn’t get enough of it!