Heirloom tomato ragu with wild boar over fresh pasta
For this dish we used orange and red heirloom tomatoes from Balakian Farms, and wild boar from….well that’s a bit of a secret. The first thing you want to do is start the wild boar cooking. That’s what is going to take most of your time in this dish.
We used several shoulders of boar for this dish (because that’s what we had), but other cuts that respond well to slow cooking, or even ground meat could work.
1 10 lb boar shoulder (or several smaller ones)
salt and pepper to taste
1 C red wine
Wild game has a tendency to dry out more than cultivated meat, so slow braising is key. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, then coat the meat in a rub of garlic, thyme, and olive oil. Place in large stew-pot or baking dish, cover well, and cook….for 4 hours. check on your meat every hour or so, to see how it’s looking. The meat is done when it is falling apart. Take the pan out of the oven, and remove meat to separate plate to rest. pour off all but 2 tbsp of liquid from pan, add wine and cook over high heat, scraping bottom of pan to remove cracklings, cook down for 3 minutes. This can be used to add an intensity of flavor to the pasta sauce, or saved in the fridge (keeps about a week), to flavor another dish.
First I cut the heirlooms into segments using a 3:1 ratio of orange to red heirlooms. The orange heirlooms taste amazingly bright and sweet so I used some red heirlooms to give the flavor more backbone or base.
Heat a good amount of olive oil in a pan. Brown chopped garlic and add onions and salt. Allow onions to get soft and see through. Add almost all of your orange tomato segments and then slowly add in red tomatoes in stages. Turn burner down to medium. If sauce starts spitting too much turn burner down more. As the tomatoes release their juices watch the color. If it starts turning too brown add more orange tomatoes. Add coriander, AllStar Organics Italian Herb Salt, and kosher salt to taste. If you add too much coriander (like I did) just add some more tomatoes to balance out the flavors. Cook for 30-40 minutes until tomatoes are very soft and lots of juice has come out. Let cool and then blend in blender. Keep the ragu somewhat chunky: you don’t need to blend it very thin but also don’t want big pieces of skin. Return to pot and heat. Add more coriander and salt if desired. If flavors aren’t coming together well, try adding a bit of sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time. Take the wild boar that has been resting, and pull apart as you would pulled pork. Add to sauce, and cook a further 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve over fresh pasta.