I first came to know about cinghiale while watching an episode of Rachel Ray's $40/day show. She visited an Italian restaurant in Chicago and ordered it off of the menu. I searched around and found a couple of recipes for cinghiale and through trial and error put together the one listed below.
Cinghiale is a simple, rustic dish that has been popular in Italy for centuries. Originally it featured wild boar but a simple pork shoulder works great. It takes at least 3 hours of slow cooking to break down and tenderize the meat so that it falls off of the bone. As such, you may want to save this for the weekend as it takes about 4 hours to prepare.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound pork shoulder
1 tspn salt
1 tspn pepper
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 pieces of celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp flour
2 cups red wine (I usually use Cabernet)
1 bay leaf
1 tspn rosemary
1 tspn thyme
1 tspn sage
1 box of pasta (I usually use rigatoni or farfalle)
- Trim 3 to 4 inch pieces of pork that are about 1 to 2 inches thick from the shoulder. Save the pieces that you have cut and also save the central piece containing the bone.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Put the piece of pork containing the bone in the center of the pot with the other pieces of pork surrounding it.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the pork. Brown the pork on both sides. There should be a dark brown layer of pork residue cooked to the bottom of the pot.
- After pork has browned, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook off most of the moisture. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and flour. Stir until flour and tomato paste have combined with vegetables.
- Add red wine, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and sage.
- Cook over low heat for 3 hours.
- Remove pork pieces from mixture. Shred the meat and add it back to the pot with the vegetables.
- Stir pork and vegetable mixture together and serve the cinghiale over pasta.