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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, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.






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