This Hunter’s ‘Wild-Boar’ Hotpot contains no actual Boar Meat, but uses the trick of cooking regular pork with Red Wine to mimic the taste.
The name of this dish is a little misleading in that no real Wild Boar is included, and because none of the ingredients are actually the yield of the hunt. It is called a ‘Hunter’s’ Hotpot because it is made in the Italian ‘Cacciatore’ style, which translates as ‘Hunter, and because it uses the culinary trick I learned from my father of cooking Pork in Red Wine to produce the strong and earthy flavors of Boar Meat. The umami ‘earthiness’ of the final result is also enhanced with a liberal inclusion of dried Chinese Black Mushrooms.
How to make a Hunter’s ‘Wild-Boar’ Hotpot
First, soak the Black Mushrooms in warm water to cover for at least an hour, then remove and drain reserving the soaking liquid. You should have a cup to use for later, so make allowances for this when beginning the soaking process.
Once soaked, trim the stems from the mushrooms and, if desired, store then for use in a stockpot. Slice the stems in halves, or quarters, if large, or else slice them into strips if you prefer.
Next, Brown the Pork Cubes in a little oil over moderately high heat to brown them, Ideally, your temperature should be sufficiently high that the surface browns while leaving the center still only partially cooked. Once done, remove the meat to a bowl for the time being.
While the meat rests, make a mirepoix by gently frying the carrot, onion and celery in a little oil or butter. Don’t brown the vegetables at all, just let them soften for as long as it takes for the onion to become nicely translucent, and for their flavors to infuse the cooking fat.
Next, add the meat, garlic, and other seasonings and saute a few minutes further until the herbal aroma rises.
Lastly, add the potatoes, tomato sauce, red wine and one cup of the mushroom soaking liquid. All the solids in the pot should be covered but, if not, top up with a little more of the soaking liquid or plain water. Put the pot on a moderately low flame and let it simmer gently for about an hour and a half. At this point, the potatoes should be tender and the liquid reduced and thickened somewhat.
You can serve now, but the dish will be much better if you allow it to cool and then chill in the refrigerator overnight. To serve, heat gently in a suitable serving dish in the oven until it is just piping hot. Enjoy….
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Hunter’s ‘Wild-Boar’ Hotpot Recipe
- 1 1/2 lbs. Pork Shoulder cut into bite sized cubes;
- 1 1/2 lbs. Baby Potatoes;
- 12 small dried Chinese Black Mushrooms;
- 1 small Onion chopped;
- 1 small Carrot chopped;
- 1 stick of Celery chopped;
- 1 – 2 tbsp. minced Garlic;
- 1 tsp. each dried Sage and Thyme;
- ½ tsp. each Celery Seed and Black Pepper;
- 1 tsp. Salt;
- 2 ½ cups plain Tomato Sauce;
- 1 cup Red Wine;
- Reconstitute the mushrooms in warm water to cover for an hour so and then drain them, reserving the soaking liquid.
- Trim the stems from the mushrooms, reserving them for stock, if desired, then slice the caps in half, or quarters if very large.
- Brown the meat over moderately high heat in a little oil and then set aside.
- Saute the carrot, onion and celery in a little oil or butter until the onion is translucent.
- Add the meat, garlic, and other seasonings and saute a few minutes further until the herbal aroma rises.
- Add the potatoes, tomato sauce, red wine and one cup of the mushroom soaking liquid, then simmer gently for about an hour and a half until the potatoes are tender and the liquid reduced and slightly thickened.
- Serve hot from the pot, or else chill overnight to allow the flavors to meld.