field notes

Wild Boar with Polenta Taragna
April 25, 2020

It's time for a real dish of delicious, warm, fatty, peasant food.

Polenta Tarana is a kind of buckwheat polenta from Valtellina enriched with fontina cheese.

For the marinade

6 juniper berries
4 green peppercorns
1 large white onion
1 carrot
Half a liter of red wine
2 bay leaves

For the polenta

1 liter of water
120 g buckwheat flour
80 g cornmeal polenta
75 g unsalted butter, cubed
350 g of fontina
½ teaspoon salt

For the wild boar

1kg of wild boar, diced and cubed
1/2 stick of celery
1 carrot
Half a white onion
1 clove of garlic
3 leaves of sage
1 bunch of rosemary
200ml of red wine

Step 1- Marinate the boar (Overnight)

Strip any fat off the boar, and if not already, cube into roughly 2cm pieces. Finely chop your onion and carrots from the ‘Marinade’ list of ingredients place everything together in a bowl with the juniper, peppercorns, red wine and bay leaves. Mix well, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.

Step 2- Stew the boar (90 mins)

From the 3rd list of ingredients- finely chop your carrot, onion, and celery in a heavy-bottomed pan, heat together over a low flame with a small amount of olive oil. Add your herbs and your diced boar (with the marinated carrots and onion). Salt to taste, add your 200ml of red wine, and cook slowly until tender( at least an hour and a half)

Step 3- Make the polenta (60 mins)

Bring the water to a boil in the traditional copper cauldron or in a heavy-bottomed, stainless steel saucepan. Slowly add the flours, while stirring constantly, until a lump-free mixture is obtained. Cook at medium-low heat for 50-60 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the mix from sticking to the pot.

When the polenta is almost ready, add the butter and allow it to melt, turn off the heat and add the cheese and stir until all in incorporated

Once the Polenta is done, tip put on to a wooden board, and serve still warm with the boar, or leave to cool and reheat by frying or grilling for a crispy version. Both equally delicious.

by James Chiavarini

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