The Literate Chef

Is it Autumn Yet?

In General Articles on October 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM

With the Harvest Moon making its recent appearance in the New England sky and Halloween a few weeks distant, the feel of Autumn should have been nigh; although based on our 70° weather, it’s propinquity might be a matter of conjecture. In any case like the Ant in the fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper, we thought it best to be prepared, so two weekends ago we did a bit of cooking, laying in some comfort meals for the eventual cool weather.

The key is making big batches of hearty meals that can be pre-portioned, then defrosted and heated up with little bother on those dark and chilly nights when you want to do nothing except curl up on the couch and watch Netflix.

So here they are, one old standby and two new ones: Uncle Fred’s Lentil Soup; Wild Boar Stew and Wild Boar Ragu. The Lentil Soup is an annual standby and an homage to my godfather, Fred. The Stew and the Ragu are the result of serendipity.

Half a century ago there was a restaurant on the Eastside of Manhattan called Friar Tuck’s. It was located on 2nd or 3rd Avenue, around 54th or 55th Street. It was there that I was introduced to the delights of wild game, specifically Medallions of Young Wild Boar.

Recently I received an email from D’Artagnan, a specialty butcher in Manhattan who does a great job of delivering hard to find cuts of meat to your front door (see Where have all the Butchers Gone?) The email advertised a Shoulder of Wild Boar weighing between 3 and 5 lbs. That got me thinking about Friar Tuck’s, as well as remembering a fabulous meal of Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu, that I had in a Tuscan hill town, a number of years ago.   

The Shoulder of Wild Boar, delivered by FedEx two days after placing my order online, was 4lbs. I decided to split it in half and make a Stew and a Ragu. Portioning our the Ragu and the Stew should produce 10 individual meals. The Lentil Soup should provide an additional 10 or so individual meals.

I hope that Netflix is ready for some heavy duty autumn binge-watching!

 

 

 

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