Preparation time: 2 days marinating, 3-4 hours cooking.
Daube de Sanglier à la Provençale is a traditional autumn and winter dish in many parts of Europe. Wild boar is hunted for its much-prized meat. In France, you might also come across something called Sanglochon. This is a hybrid between the Sanglier and Cochon (pig). They were originally bred in the Ardennes of Belgium and France in the early 19th century. But as this was not a commercial success, many were released by farmers into the wild. In certain areas, they are considered a pest by farmers.
Marinating the meat, for at least 2 days before cooking it, adds additional flavor and tenderizes it.
- 2 lbs (900 g) wild boar roast, cut into cubes
- 1/2 lbs (225g) bacon, cut into cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 large celery stick, diced
- 1/2 tsp savory
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme or a fresh thyme twig
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups (500ml) red wine
- 2 Tbsp. cognac
- ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
- 12 oil-cured black olives (optional)
To prepare the marinade pour red wine in a cooking pot and add the savory, thyme, onions, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper. Bring it to a quick boil. Reduce heat to let it simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove pot from the heat source and let it cool down. Put the cold marinade in a bowl and add the wild boar cubes. Cover the bowl with a plastic film and let the meat marinate for at least 2 days in the fridge.
Before you make the dish, bring the wild boar in its marinade to room temperature. Lift the wild boar from the marinade and pat it dry. Make sure you dry the meat well with a paper towel and remove any vegetable or spice remnants. Otherwise, the meat will not brown. Set the marinade with vegetables and spices aside, for later use.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the diced bacon to the casserole. When bacon is crisp remove it and set aside on kitchen towels. Add the wild boar meat to the casserole and sauté over medium-high heat until the meat is nicely brown all over. Return the bacon and the reserved marinade with the vegetables and spices to the casserole. Bring it to a rapid boil skimming the top the top with a spoon to remove any impurities. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 1-2 hours or until the boar cubes are tender. Cooking times vary according to how old the wild boar was. A mature boar will require longer cooking times, usually 3-4 hours. A younger one substantially less. Make sure not to overcook, you don’t want the meat to dry out.
Before serving, remove the bay leaf, check the seasoning and add the black olives (optional). In the Provence, wild boar ragout is generally served with roasted potatoes. In Italy, pasta, such as gnocchi or pappardelle is the preferred way to serve it.