Wild Boar Ragu


Go wild next pasta night. Chef Josh Turka offers up his recipe for a wild boar ragu – an extra savory sauce simmered to maximum meat tenderness. A simmer in red wine and stock tames the boar shoulder (or pork shoulder, if boar is hard to come by) but an array of spices keep things interesting atop your tagliatelle.


  • 2 pounds boar shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 pint red wine
  • stock or water


  1. Dice the boar (and pass it through a meat grinder on the coarsest setting, if you have one.) Finely chop the carrots, celery and onion. If using whole spices, grind the pepper, juniper, coriander, cinnamon and fennel.
  2. Coat a pan or skillet with the grape seed oil and heat to shimmering. Add the boar to the pan and season with salt. Cook on high until any liquid released is gone.
  3. Add the ground spices and stir briefly, until aromatic (1-2 minutes). Add the chopped vegetables and cook on medium heat until any liquid released is gone.
  4. Add the red wine and bay leaves and reduce by half. Then add enough stock or water to cover the meat and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the meat is tender (adding more liquid if necessary), about an hour to an hour and a half.
  5. Season to taste and stir with a fork to shred the meat. Serve over cooked pasta with freshly grated cheese.

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