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Renaissance Recipes: Sweet and Sour Wild Boar

Good Tastes of Tuscany near Florence shares this wild boar recipe from a cooking class we experienced recently.

Mar 8, 2011
A sweet-and-sour wild boar dish harkens back to the time of Lorenzo de Medici in the 15th century.
A sweet-and-sour wild boar dish harkens back to the time of Lorenzo de Medici in the 15th century.
Photography Ilva Beretta

We recently visited Good Tastes of Tuscany near Florence and attended an afternoon class on Renaissance cooking. The sweet and sour wild boar recipe that follows is just one of our lessons designed to introduce us to Renaissance cooking–cuisine that Lorenzo de Medici might have dined upon as he contemplated the challenging affairs of state in the late 15th century.

Cinghiale in Dolceforte—sweet and sour wild boar

Serves 6
1 kg wild boar from the back leg or the shoulder, diced
1 onion, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely
1 celery stalk, chopped finely
1 bay leaf
50g dark chocolate, grated
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 Tbsp raisins, soaked in warm water
3 prunes, chopped
pinch of nutmeg
2 cloves
1 tsp honey
red wine
meat stock
olive oil
salt and pepper

Marinate the wild boar in enough dry red wine (good body is better) to cover the meat and 3 tablespoons of vinegar overnight. Change the wine and vinegar and let rest for another night (this removes the “wild, gamey” flavour from the meat.

Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in 8 tablespoons of oil. Dry the wild boar, flour it and add it to the pan with salt and pepper and brown it. Add a glass of red wine, let it evaporate and add enough boiling stock to cover the meat. Simmer gently until the meat is soft.

For the sauce, mix together the chocolate, pine nuts, raisins, prunes, bay leaf, nutmeg, cloves, honey, and a half-glass of vinegar and set aside. When the meat is ready, add the sauce, simmer for 5 minutes more and serve.


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