Porcini-Braised Boar with Artichoke and Fennel

    Porcini-Braised Boar with Artichoke and Fennel

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    About this recipe: Pop the cork on a good bottle of wine, and get the family together for a feast! This is stick-to-your-ribs food, Italian style; large pieces of Tuscan wild boar (cinghiale) are braised with cannellini beans and fresh porcini mushrooms, then served family-style with a spicy and tangy vegetable saute.

    Serves: 8 

    • 3 cups (500g) dry cannellini beans
    • 1 litre chicken or pork stock
    • 2 cups (500ml) water
    • 1.75kg wild boar (cinghiale) roast, cut into serving-size pieces
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
    • 230g fresh porcini, chanterelles or stemmed shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
    • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
    • 1/4 cup minced fresh rosemary
    • 1 pinch sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
    • 8 large artichoke hearts, cut into eighths
    • 2 large fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
    • 1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
    • 1/2 cup (40g) grated pecorino Toscano (or pecorino Romano) cheese
    • 1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
    • 1 lemon, zested

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:3hr20min  ›  Extra time:12hr soaking  ›  Ready in:15hr40min 

    1. Soak beans in ample cold water overnight.
    2. Drain cannellini beans and pour into a large Dutch oven along with chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, skimming any foam that forms. Remove boar from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature during this time.
    3. Heat 1/4-cup olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add boar pieces, and sear until browned on all sides. Remove seared boar, and place into the pot, on top of the gently simmering beans. Heat the skillet until smoking once again, then stir in porcini mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Add 1/4 cup garlic and continue cooking until the garlic has turned golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary and cook for 30 seconds more before adding the mushrooms to the boar and beans.
    4. Cover, and continue simmering the boar and beans until both are tender, adding additional water if needed, about 1 1/2 hours. Once ready, season lightly to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
    5. When the beans are nearly ready, place the artichoke hearts into a large skillet with some water. Cover, and steam over high heat until just tender, about 2 minutes; then add the sliced fennel, and steam for 1 minute more. Drain in a colander, and return skillet to the stove.
    6. Reduce heat to medium-high and pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic turns golden, then sprinkle with red chilli flakes and add the drained vegetables. Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender and golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in white wine, cook until nearly evaporated, then season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
    7. To serve, mound vegetables into the center of a large platter and place the pieces of boar on top. Spoon the beans around the vegetables, drizzle liberally with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with pecorino Toscano cheese, parsley, and strands of lemon zest.

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