Help take a bite out of swine by eating wild boar


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Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2012, 2:11 pm
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By J.M. Hirsch
Wild boar — a tasty way to do a good deed.

It's true. Across at least 39 states there are an estimated 4 million feral pigs and wild boars (they are close relatives and prone to interbreeding) roaming about. And they are laying ruin to vast acres of land. The problem with wild pigs is they are voracious eaters. Shocking, I know! And they tend to destroy natural ecosystems. There is no one solution. But eating them certainly helps. It's what I like to call taking a bite out of swine.

Bad pig puns aside, people throughout Europe and Asia have been eating feral oinkers for years. Italians are particularly fond of them, turning them into all manner of salumi.

Now Americans are starting to catch on. Feral pig is showing up on more restaurant menus, especially in the South, the epicenter of the problem. And a growing number of specialty meat stores have started stocking the meat, too. Though you can find chops and loin, ground is the most common variety.

Wild boar has an assertive flavor, somewhere between pork and venison. It takes well to marinades and pairs wonderfully with cooked fruit and nuts. The basic guideline — use it in boldly flavored dishes just as you would pork and venison. The point isn't to mask the flavor, but to pair it with ingredients that don't get smothered by it.

Where to begin? Try it in this simple ragu over fettuccine. Leftover sauce would be delicious in a lasagna, a classic use of boar in Italy.

Fettuccine with Wild Boar Ragu
Start to finish: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground wild boar
1 cup red wine
15-ounce can tomato sauce
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 pound fettuccine pasta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Salt and ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large saucepan over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute for 6 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Add the boar and cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping the pan, until the wine has mostly evaporated. Add the tomato sauce and paste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to package directions.
When the pasta is done, stir 1/4 cup of its cooking water into the sauce. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl.
Stir the basil and oregano into the ragu, then season with salt and pepper. Ladle it over the pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 620 calories; 110 calories from fat (18 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 95 mg cholesterol; 70 g carbohydrate; 48 g protein; 5 g fiber; 960 mg sodium.



















 



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  Today is Monday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2014. There are 72 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The store of Devoe and Crampton was entered and robbed of about $500 worth of gold pens and pocket cutlery last night.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Michael Malloy was named president of the Tri-City Stone Cutters Union.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dewitte C. Poole, former Moline newspaperman serving as vice consul general for the United States government in Paris, declared in a letter to friends that the once gay Paris is a city of sadness and desolation.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for the construction of an $80,000 wholesale bakery at 2011 4th Ave. were announced by Harry and Nick Coin, of Rock Island. It is to be known as the Banquet Bakery.
1964 -- 50 years ago: An application has been filed for a state permit to organize a savings and loan association in Moline, it was announced. The applicants are Ben Butterworth, A.B. Lundahl, C. Richard Evans, John Harris, George Crampton and William Getz, all of Moline, Charles Roberts, Rock Island, and Charles Johnson, of Hampton.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Indian summer is quickly disappearing as temperatures slide into the 40s and 50s this week. Last week, highs were in the 80s.


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