The Literate Chef

Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

Wild Boar Stew

In Pork, Recipes, Stews on October 21, 2017 at 10:49 AM

Preparation time, 1 hour; Cooking time 4.5 hours. Serves 4.

Wild Boar Stew

Wild Boar Stew


4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. Wild Boar Shoulder, cubed 1.5-2.0 inches
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 cups of Chianti
1 28 oz. can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes, chopped, retain liquid
6 tbsp. chopped fresh herb combination, (2 tbsp. each of oregano, rosemary & sage)
3 bay leaves
¾ lb. (about 12-14) of small yellow potatoes, leave whole
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced


  1. In a heavy casserole pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. In two batches, add the Wild Boar Meat, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, turning frequently. When browned to your liking, remove meat and set aside.
  3. Add garlic, onions and celery to the pot and brown lightly, remove and set aside.
  4. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add back the meat and vegetables and any collected liquids.
  5. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, herbs and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower heat, keep covered and cook for 3 hours.
  7. Remove bay leaves and discard. Remove meat and set aside.
  8. Transfer the gravy to a food processor and process until smooth. Add back the meat.
  9. Add the potatoes, and continue cooking on medium low for 1 hour.
  10. Add the carrots and continue cooking on medium low for 30 more minutes. The stew should cook for 4.5 hours total, excluding browning.


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!




My Cousin Vinny to the Rescue

In General Articles on October 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

As the daylight hours grow shorter here on Cape Cod and the autumn chill creeps in, my thoughts turn to soup; and when I think of soup, I naturally think of Uncle Fred. Fred always made big batches of soup, broke them down into 1 and 2 quart containers and froze them for quick, nutritious and delicious meals for Aunt Jo and him to enjoy during the long, cold, New England winter. He usually kept one in the back of the freezer as a welcome for when my wife and I would arrive with our children for our annual August vacation in Falmouth. Even though it was mid-summer, that soup would become our first night’s meal.

One of his favorites, reflective of the large local Portuguese speaking community, was Kale Soup. It’s an amalgam of chopped kale, white beans (I used canned beans, which saves time and effort, just be sure to rinse and drain them first), Portuguese sausage and potatoes; delicious, nutritious and sticks to your ribs.  I know that Fred wrote down the recipe for me, but I was unable to find it yesterday when I went to the market to pick-up the main ingredients.

However, I did find a batch of recipes and notes from my cousin, Chef Vincent, Fred’s son. Vince’s Kale Soup is a little different from the version I concocted yesterday, he doesn’t use beans.   Nonetheless, we share a penchant for good eating, something obviously inherited from our fathers and grandfather. But I don’t ever remember Grandpa in the kitchen, Grandma did all of the cooking, so whatever skill Vince and I have in that regard, must have been passed down from her.

Here’s Vince’s take on soup:

‘There’s nothing like a nice hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold winter’s day!  I love cooking soups in the cold months (and it gets cold – for a long time – in Massachusetts!).  The aroma fills the house, and the stove keeps the kitchen warm.  It’s such a cozy feeling.  It’s even more comforting when you get to eat the finished product!  My soups are a meal in themselves.  Eat them with a nice loaf of warm bread.  Man, that’s living!’

I can’t improve on that testimony, so without further ado, check out Portuguese Kale Soup and do cook up a batch as the Autumn Leaves  start to fall.

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