Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ripert Goes Boar Hunting in Tuscanny

I've known of Eric Ripert's PBS show Avec Eric for some time now but I never really watched it except when I came across it when channel surfing. Although I enjoyed it I never followed it religiously for some reason. I never saw this episode but if I had, I'd probably would have watched it more often. Hunting is generally portrayed pretty poorly on television but it seems that shows hosted by chefs show it in a more favorable light.

Another cooking show that did such was New Scandinavian Cooking. I remember watching an episode that showcased Grouse hunting and if I recall the hunter was carrying a Merkel side by side. Why can't we have more shows like that.

It seems Anthony Bourdain has been trying to do the same. The last two No Reservation episodes had him hunting Roedeer in Austria and Ducks in the Ozarks. I really enjoyed the Austria show, as it tried to explain European Hunting to the American audience. I don't think Americans, with an exception of a few, don't understand the European style of hunting. Most Americans would relate more with the duck hunting in the Ozark episode than the Austria show.

In any case why can't we have more shows like these?

The recipe from the show:

Serves 4


Ingredients for the pasta:
4 eggs
400 gr white plain flour
Pinch of salt
Semolina flour (optional)

Ingredients for the sauce:
500gr wild boar meat (typically thigh); the meat needs to be soaked in cold water for a day,
changing the water four times, which will eliminate the blood and reduce the very ‘gamey’
1 medium red onion roughly chopped
300gr fresh porcini mushrooms roughly chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
100ml tomato passata (tinned Italian plum tomatoes passed through a foodmill)
100ml red wine
Extra virgin olive oil
½ l vegetable or meat stock
To make the pasta:
Place the flour on the work surface and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well with a good pinch of salt. Gradually incorporate the flour together with the eggs using a fork.

When the flour is roughly mixed in, start to work the dough with your hands. When the mixture starts to firm up begin to knead it with the heel of your hand. The dough should be worked like this for about 5 mins, at which stage it should be wrapped in cling film and left to rest in the fridge for about 30 mins. If you are not going to use a pasta machine, you should work it by hand for a further 10/15 mins before leaving it to rest. After it is “rest”, roll the dough out to the required thickness and then sprinkle liberally with semolina and fold over a few times. Cut into large ribbons. The pasta should be cooked in boiling, salty water for about 3 mins.

To make the sauce:
Remove the meat from the water and dry it off. Chop it as finely as possible with a sharp knife and brown it in a frying pan with a couple of tbsps of pre-heated olive oil. Make sure all the liquid has evaporated from the pan and turn off the heat.

In a separate casserole, heat up a couple of tbsps of olive oil and brown off the onion, porcini mushrooms, parsley and bay leaves. After about 3 or 4 mins, add the wild boar meat season it with salt and pepper and pour over the red wine. Once all the wine has evaporated, add the tomato passata, some stock and cook for 2 – 2 1/2hours adding stock now and again as necessary.

To serve:
Toss the pasta together with the sauce and a handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Recipe provided by Villa Bordoni

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