KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: A Truffle Named Luigi
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Buon Natale! Joyeux Noel! A Christmas Menu
Falletti Foods
Check, Please! Bay Area: Season 2: Episode 11
Drinking Game: CocktailSmarts
Little Saigon, Orange County, California
Infused and Flavored
Is The Public Ready For A Transparent Restaurant I...
Bar Crudo: A Time to Eat, A Time to Give
Diner des Femmes Phénoménales
Office Party
 
 
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
 
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
A Truffle Named Luigi


As someone who loves food, and who spends a good amount of time looking for the next great meal, I have many bites each year which are completely memorable and exciting. But it is rare that I have a bite that flattens me, that is transcendent, that makes me want to jump up and down in joy because of its perfection. And that experience? That is what people like me live for. It's the reason that we trudge through insipid bites, through bites that are boring, and through bites that are just uninspired.

It happened to me this year at Oliveto Restaurant. My good friend Jeanne took me to Oliveto's yearly truffle dinner this year for my birthday. The dinner is a joyous event. Everyone in the restaurant seems to be in a good mood, and the intoxicating scent of white truffles permeates the entire evening. At the beginning of the meal, we were presented with different sizes of truffles and asked what our truffle strategy for the evening would be. Our choices were to purchase and entire truffle, and to have it as our dining companion for the evening, or to have truffle shaved and weighed on each dish. We opted for the former, and purchased a truffle which we promptly named Luigi.



Each dish that we ate at the dinner was designed to show off the wonder of Luigi, and dish after dish coming out of the kitchen was wonderful. And then came The Dish. The dish that, looking back on this year, will be considered the highlight: a wild boar ragu served on a delicious polenta. It was simple and rich and each bite was full of flavor and depth. There is something about ragus that I have eaten in Italy - it's a back of the mouth tang or bite that I rarely taste here. It also had specific taste that comes from using the best ingredients one can find, and a flavor that only comes from patience and time with the dish.

With my first bite, I declared that I would like to marry the man who created the ragu, who was responsible for this amazing bite (by chance, the next day, I met his lovely wife - the owner of the wonderful Ici).

While many of the dishes this evening were completely heightened and made infinitely better by the addition of truffles, this didn't need the truffle and stood on its own in its fantasticness.



Since that day, I have spent some time working on a recipe for wild boar ragu, and have managed to make a successful rendition at home. I bought the wild boar at Golden Gate Meat Company in the Ferry Building. Wild boar is lower in fat than pork or beef, so I made up for that by adding a couple of slices of pancetta to the recipe in order to bring the richness up a bit. The recipe is very forgiving in the amount of time that you cook it -- I would suggest cooking for three hours at a minimum, and anywhere up to about five hours.

WILD BOAR RAGU

2 slices pancetta chopped into small pieces (about 1 oz)
3 T butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped carrot
3/4 pound wild boar, cut into very small pieces by hand
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup red wine
1.5 cups diced tomatoes with their juice
1 pound dried egg noodles (I like Rustichella D'Abruzzo Pappardelle)
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Equipment: a large Dutch Oven or heavy enameled cast iron pot that can be used in the oven. I use a Le Creuset 6.5 quart dutch oven.
  1. Place the empty pot on the stove and turn the heat on low while you are prepping your ingredients.
  2. Raise the flame on the stove to medium.
  3. Add the pancetta and let it cook until the fat has begun to separate from the meat and the pancetta is beginning to brown (About 5 min).
  4. Add 2T of butter and let it melt.
  5. Once the butter has melted, add onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the celery and carrot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring.
  7. Add the boar, a pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Stir and allow the boar to cook until it is brown on the outside, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the milk and the nutmeg. Let the milk cook until it is almost all boiled off, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the wine and let it cook until it is almost all boiled off, about 10 minutes.
  10. Add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat to the lowest it will go.
  11. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  12. Cook the ragu on top of the stove, uncovered for 1 - 1.5 hours. If you are able to achieve a very low flame and the sauce is bubbling only occasionally, you can cook the ragu on top of the stove the entire time if you'd like. If, like me, you have a cranky stove that doesn't heat the pot completely or a flame that doesn't go low enough, place the entire pot in the oven, covered, after 1 hour of cooking uncovered on the stovetop.
  13. Continue to cook for 3-5 hours, stirring only occasionally.
  14. By the time the ragu is done, there will be very little liquid and any remaining fat will be separated from the meat. If at any time during the process you feel that the sauce is beginning to burn, you can add water, 1/2 cup at a time, to the sauce. When the sauce is complete, there should be no trace of water in the sauce.
  15. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, taste and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary.
  16. Just before serving, cook the egg noodles and toss with the remaining 1T of butter. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Oliveto Restaurant
5655 College Ave
Oakland, CA
(510) 547-5356
 
 

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your recipe sounds delightfully delicious. Wild boar has an amazing flavor that I've never been able to duplicate using farmed pork. It's just amazing.

- Chubbypanda

12/21/2006 12:01 PM

 
Blogger wendygee said...

Your recipe seems easy and looks great! Definitely have to give it a go sometime soon! And regarding "Luigi"...excellent name choice!... my b-day is also during white truffle season...I need to tell you my 40th b-day French Laundry story...my first white truffle experience.

12/21/2006 12:27 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
 
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
 
Tasty Food Sites
CHOW
Chowhound SF
Crushpad
CUESA
CulinaryCorps
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Epicurious
eGullet.org
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
KTEH Food
Leite's Culinaria
Locavores
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
 
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
agoodfoodblog
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Blogsoop
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Digesty-SF
Eater SF
Eggbeater
Extramsg.com
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
Gastronomie
Hedonia
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Jatbar
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
MeatHenge
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Nosheteria
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
Spicetart
The Amateur Gourmet
Tablehopper
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Vinography
VirgoBlue
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
 
 
   
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
 
Food Books
 
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
 
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
 
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
 
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
 
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
 
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
 
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
 
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
 
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
 
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
 
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
 
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
 
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
 
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
 
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
 
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
 
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
 
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
 
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
 
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
 
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
 
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
 
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
 
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
 
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
 
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
 
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
 
 
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
 
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
 
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
 
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
 
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
 
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
 
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
 
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
 
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
 
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
 
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
 
ChocolateChocolate
by Lisa Yockelson
 
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
 
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
 
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
 
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
 
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
 
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
 
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
 
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
 
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
 
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
 
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
 
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
 
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
 
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
 
 
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
 
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
 
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
 
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
 
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
 
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
 
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
 
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
 
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
 
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
 
Bouchon
by Thomas Keller
 
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
 
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
 
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
 
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
 
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
 
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
 
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
 
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
 
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
 
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
 
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
 
 
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.