Wild boar is a favourite throughout Tuscany and Umbria. Here it is cooked with lots of garlic, herbs and spices to make a wonderful thick sauce (ragù) for polenta. Serve with a rocket and radicchio salad – their slight bitterness is a great foil for the rich polenta and meat sauce – or with lightly braised greens.
3 people made this
450 g (1 lb) boneless wild boar for stewing, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cinnamon stick
250 ml (8½ fl oz) full-bodied red wine
15 juniper berries, lightly crushed
4 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
300 ml (10 fl oz) beef stock, preferably home-made
10 g (1/4 oz) dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed to remove any grit
a few sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano or parsley), leaves coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
For the ricotta and rosemary polenta
300 g (10½ oz) instant polenta
100 g (3½ oz) ricotta cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr15min
Place the wild boar in a bowl. Chop one of the onions and add it to the bowl with the cinnamon stick, wine, juniper berries, bay leaves, garlic, and pepper to taste. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight, or up to 2 days.
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Strain the marinade and set aside. Chop the remaining onion. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the meat and brown lightly on all sides. Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3–4 minutes or until the vegetables soften a little.
Add the marinade, the tomatoes with their juice, the vinegar, stock, mushrooms and herbs. Season to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove from the heat and keep hot while you cook the polenta.
Cook the polenta according to the packet instructions until it is smooth and thick. Beat in the ricotta cheese and rosemary, and continue stirring over a low heat until the ricotta is absorbed.
Divide the polenta among 4 warmed plates and spoon the wild boar and sauce over. Serve immediately.