Tuscan Wild Boar Stew
In Tuscany towards the autumn, you will invariably find this dish on the menu in local trattorie, eaten simply with bread as a main course. Scottiglia is a very comforting wild boar stew. In fact, Tuscans love it so much that in season they freeze parts of the animal so that they can make this stew later in the year-and Italians do not tend to freeze meat very much. Depending on the age of the boar, it can take some time to tenderise the meat, but a scottiglia is always cooked slowly to avoid toughening the meat. This type of stew can be made with other, more tender parts of the animal, but reduce the cooking time accordingly.
- 1kg (2 1/4 lb) wild boar meat, cut into chunks
- Plain flour for dusting
- 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) olive oil
- 2 carrots, finely sliced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 chilli, chopped
- 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) dry white or red wine
- 800g (1 lb 12 oz) ripe tomato pulp (either from skinned tomatoes or bought in cartons)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dust the meat pieces in flour, and shake off the excess. Brown on all sides in the oil in a large casserole. Add vegetables, garlic, bay leaves and chilli and cook slowly until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and let it evaporate. Add the tomatoes and leave to cook slowly, covered, for a couple of hours. Add some water if necessary during this time.
- Just before the end of the cooking time, add the rosemary, salt and abundant pepper. Check for tenderness and seasoning. Serve hot with Tuscan bread or boiled potatoes.