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D'Artagnan's Braised Wild Turkey Ragu Recipe

D'Artagnan's Braised Wild Turkey Ragu Recipe


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Ingredients

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup ruby port
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 cup duck and veal demi-glace
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley plus small sprigs, for garnish
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • Leg and thigh sections, plus wings from one 6–8-pound (or larger) wild turkey, skinned
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
  • 8–12 ounces dried pasta, such as fettuccine, penne or rigatoni
  • Small parsley sprigs, to garnish

Directions

Combine wine, port, and thyme in a large pot and reduce by half over high heat. Add demi-glace, chicken stock, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, parsley, carrots, celery, and onion, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so liquid is simmering, add turkey legs whole, with feet if still attached.

Cover and cook gently until meat easily separates from bone when pricked with a fork, about 2 hours for a young bird. Older birds can take up to 4–5 hours. Check every half hour. If, during cooking, pan juices get lower than 1 inch in the pot, add stock or water to bring level back up. When meat is cooked, remove and let cool.

Strain cooking liquid into a saucepan, pressing solids with a wooden spoon or spatula to extract all juices. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce by half. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in butter, if using. Keep hot.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and divide among 4–6 plates.

While pasta cooks, remove turkey meat from bones and tendons, and shred. Place on top of cooked pasta, then spoon on sauce. Garnish plates with parsley sprigs and serve at once.

Click here to see the How to Cook a Wild Turkey story.


Recipe: Braised Wild Turkey Legs

Some folks, myself included for many years, fall into the breast-man category, in that they breast their turkeys and throw the rest of the carcass away. Now I’m not here to lecture you about wasting meat or to get all sanctimonious about not honoring the animal by eating every last inch of it. However, I do suggest getting into the habit of pulling the legs from your turkey because, truthfully, there is a lot of good and tasty meat there that you’re missing out on. And it doesn’t take all that long to do, especially if you skin them out. (Though I’d humbly suggest you pluck when you’ve got the time.)

Wild turkey legs are tough and sinewy, so you want to take your time, cooking them low, slow, and wet in a simple braise. The beauty of this is it’s really as easy as putting it in the oven and walking away for a few hours, although, like anything, the more time you spend at the start, the better the final product will be. By browning them first, you develop a richer flavor, then just add some liquid such as water, wine, stock, or like I did recently, milk cover and let simmer for a few hours. Try it once and you’ll never let a pair of turkey legs get away again.

Mushroom Milk Braised Turkey Leg

Ingredients: **
-One turkey leg
-1 tbs. canola oil
-Minced garlic
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 celery stalks, diced
-2 carrots, diced
-2 cups sliced mushrooms (morels if you got them)
-4 cups milk
-Salt and pepper to taste.
_

Directions:**_
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Brown turkey leg in oil, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Remove turkey leg and add a bit of oil, if needed.

Turn burner down to medium heat.

Add garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until onion softens 3 to 5 minutes.

Throw in a healthy pinch of salt, along with the mushrooms. Cook briefly.

Add milk and return turkey legs to pot, along with any accumulated juices. Turn a few times to coat.

Cover and transfer to oven. Let cook for 2 to 3 hours, flipping turkey leg halfway through.

When done, remove turkey leg from pot and shred meat from the bone using two forks.

Strain vegetables, reserving milk. (Alternately, you could puree the mix with an immersion blender.)

Return milk to pot and reduce over medium heat. If necessary, thicken with a paste of 1 tablespoon game stock and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. If it’s too thick, add stock until you get the desired consistency.

Serve shredded turkey legs with mashed potatoes or rice, passing gravy at the table.

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Hunting wild boar is a tradition and a passion in Tuscany and there are many Tuscan specialities made with wild boar. The region hosts about 10 annual wild boar festivals in different towns and villages, where visitors can taste some of these foods.

Wild boar is a very healthy meat!

Whether farmed or hunted, wild boar is a very healthy meat. It is lower in calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than normal pork. It’s also higher in protein than pork, beef, lamb and chicken. When farmed, the animals are kept in a free-range environment and aren’t given any antibiotics or growth hormones. This is true not only in Italy, but also the US.

Apart from being a healthier meat option, wild boar is also very tasty. It falls somewhere between pork and venison. Although, the older the animal, the stronger the flavour. Older animals also have tougher meat. Here in Italy, the meat for wild boar ragu is traditionally marinated in red wine to not only tenderize it, but also to add flavour! This is what I did for this Tuscan wild boar ragu recipe and the meat was melt in your mouth soft!

Marinating the wild boar meat makes it tender.

As I mentioned above, wild boar meat has to be marinated in red wine with herbs and vegetables for 12 hours before cooking. I used a Chianti, of course! Some people leave it for 24 hours! So, you will need to take that into account when planning to prepare this dish. However, apart from the marinating and cooking time, Tuscan wild boar ragu is pretty easy to make. Cooking times can vary depending on the meat.

I found recipes with widely different recommended cooking times (from one hour to 4 hours!). So, I suggest it’s best to be prepared to cook as long as necessary for the meat to be tender rather than just to follow the stated cooking times. As I said before, the older the animal the tougher the meat. So, meat from a young animal will require less cooking time than that of an older boar. Mine took about 2 hours.


Wild Turkey Recipes: Cumin and orange braised wild turkey

So you’ve decided to shoot your own turkey for TG. Here’s how to make sure it doesn’t taste like shoe leather on your plate.

There is a small but strong tradition in America of shooting your own turkey for Thanksgiving. We do not do this, but I know that people somewhere out there do because I see it on TV so it must be true, right? We don’t do it because it’s also deer season, and El Gallo is just not gonna shoot a turkey when he can shoot a deer, but I digress. I know that somewhere someone out there had the great grand idea of shooting their own turkey, and I’m here to make sure said turkey is edible come TG dinner. Because here’s the thing: cooking wild turkey is kind of like opposite day. It’s really really lean, especially the dark meat. The breasts are smaller than the leg/thigh, and the skin is kind of not that good even when seared in butter, but you should keep the skin on while cooking to help keep it moist.

So, the first lesson in cooking wild turkey: BRINE, BRINE, BRINE! If you do not brine your turkey, it will dry out. Period. You can use whatever brine you want. I used my favorite brine recipe for smoked salmon, minus the habaneros. You could probably wing it if you wanted to – a little wine, a cup or so of sugar, a heavy handful of salt with whatever spices/seasonings you like, and enough water to cover. Some people cook their brine then cool it then brine the bird. That’s too many steps. I just threw everything in a big ziplock, and turned the ziplock over in the fridge in the morning in case there was a part of it sticking out of the water.

Rule #2 in cooking wild turkey: The breasts are more like A cups, in comparison to the FFs you get with a regular store bought turkey. This means you need to put your thermometer in the thigh, otherwise you risk cutting into raw leg meat. What I did was put the thermometer into the breast, then took the breasts out of the oven and kept them warm, moved the thermometer into the legs, and finished cooking the bird’s bottom half. Either way, your breasts shouldn’t dry out if you leave it all in there, but they will be extra juicy when you do it this way.

Now, you can really make any flavor of glaze you like. I personally love the combination of cumin and orange, and the zest and honey all together makes it holiday-ish. But you could do lemon-sugar-tarragon or lime-cayenne-whathaveyou for something spicy.


Braised Turkey Is the Best Kind of Turkey

That’s what I asked myself as I hoisted a Dutch oven onto my countertop. Inside, rich stock bubbled away, while crispy, lacquered turkey thighs bobbed to the surface. A few cippoline onions lounged about, here and there.

The aroma alone had me at hello. But when I actually dug into the slowly braised turkey, my head just about flipped. Have you ever had real carnitas? Pork shoulder simmered in its own fat till it’s at once fall-apart tender and crispy? That’s what braised turkey legs are like.

They’re rich, they’re juicy, and they pull apart with just the tug of a fork. Unlike the dark meat on a traditional roasted turkey, you don’t need to saw at this stuff. And unlike white meat, well, these legs and thighs actually taste like something.

To coax them into their unctuous state, I roasted them covered in an oven for several hours, and then, at the very end, I lifted the lid and hit them with the broiler (a move I would recommend for pretty much any braised-meat dish.) I then shredded the meat on a large serving platter and bathed it in its cooking liquid.

Just to keep all my persnickety guests happy, I also served a rolled-and-tied roasted turkey breast. But do I even need to tell you what made them the happiest?


Wild Boar Ragu

Preparation time:Marinate-Overnight Cutting & Chopping-1 hourCook Time 4 hours.Serves 6 – Adapted from NY Times and Epicurious Magazine

Wild Boar Ragu with Fettuccine

Step 1: Marinate the Meat Overnight

Ingredients for Marinated Meat:

  • 2 lbs. Wild Boar Shoulder, cubed 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsps. whole peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 8 cloves garlic, halved
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 or more cups of Chianti, enough to cover the meat

Mix the above in a non-reactive bowl, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to make the Ragu, discard the rosemary, garlic and bay leaves. Drain the meat in a strainer over a bowl, and reserve the marinade.

Step 2: Make the Ragu

Ingredients for Ragu:

  • Meat & reserved marinade from Step 1
  • 6 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 2 cans of tomatoes, chopped and use liquid
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsps. anchovy paste
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 3 or more cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  1. In a heavy casserole pot, heat the olive oil on medium.
  2. Add onions, carrots and celery and lightly sauté for about 5 minutes, remove and set aside.
  3. In two or more batches, add the Wild Boar Meat, brown on all sides turning frequently for about 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add back the vegetables from step 2.
  5. Add the marinade and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovy paste and chopped herbs.
  7. Turn heat to medium low, and cook uncovered for at least 4 hours, until meat easily fall apart. (Note: Stir the ragu periodically and add 1 cup of vegetable broth at a time to prevent the ragu from burning. You may need to use a whole quart. You can also cover the ragu for the last 30 minutes so it doesn’t burn. (Note: Most of the liquid should be absorbed.)
  8. Remove bay leaves and discard. At this point the ragu is done and can be used immediately or frozen in small batches and used later. There should be enough for 6 meals, or a meal for 2 on 3 separate occasions.
  9. Serve with choice of pasta Pappardelle, Tagliatelle or Fettuccine. (Note: Heat the ragu & cook the pasta separately for 2 minutes short of al dente, remove 1 to 2 cups of pasta water, add to ragu and mix well, remove the pasta from the water, add to the ragu, mix well again for about two minutes.)
  10. Serve with chopped basil and grated Pecorino Romano, preferably Locatelli brand.

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  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 4 or 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 or 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 4 large cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds wild boar belly
  • 4 cups beef stock (homemade or packaged, not canned)
  • 2 tablespoons canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil

Prepare the overnight brining liquid first: In a large pot, combine 2 cups of water with the 1/4 cup honey, 6 bay leaves, thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, garlic, peppercorns, and Kosher salt over high heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, and add 2 more cups of water. Cool completely.

Put the wild boar belly into a sealable container or glass baking dish, and pour the brine over it. Cover the container or cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 325 F. Take the wild boar belly out of the brine and pat dry. Discard the marinade and herbs.

Cut the belly into rib-size strips. Score the fatty side with a sharp knife in a cross-hatch pattern.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lay the wild boar belly strips, fatty-side down, and sear, rendering the fat. Use tongs to check that the fatty side has browned, then flip the pieces over, and quickly sear the other side.

Drain out the fat, and deglaze the pot with the beef stock into the pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. The wild boar belly needs to be submerged, so add more beef stock or water as necessary.

Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover the pot tightly, and put it into the oven. Braise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until very tender.

Allow the wild boar belly to cool slightly in the liquid. When ready to serve, lay the belly pieces, fat-side up on a broiler pan, and broil until the skin crisps. Alternatively, heat a large skillet over high heat, and add the wild boar strips. Crisp 1 or 2 minutes, then serve.


Slow Cooker Wild Boar Recipe

If you haven’t tried wild boar yet, this recipe for Slow Cooker Wild Boar Shoulder is a good place to start. It’s easy – the slow cooker does all the work – and yields tender meat and a rich sauce. Not only delicious as is, but the leftover meat can also be shredded for BBQ boar sandwiches, wild boar tacos, or even pulled boar nachos. The possibilities are endless. Pick up your wild boar shoulder at dartagnan.com.

You can use the recipe above to make BBQ Pulled Wild Boar Sliders with zesty barbecue sauce and a classic slaw to add crunch. Serve on soft, sweet rolls such as Hawaiian bread or mini brioche.

Bake the cooked boar meat under a blanket of mashed potatoes for shepherd’s pie, or serve on pasta. There is no wrong way to enjoy it. Tell us how you like wild boar after you try the recipe.

Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at dartagnan.com, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

Are you a business looking to serve or sell D’Artagnan? We invite both chefs and food retailers to reach out and become D’Artagnan customers.

Connect with us on social media to share your cooking adventures. Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Ingredients

500 grams (2 cups) ragù di cinghiale, either traditional or sous-vide

80 grams (3 oz) freshly grated pecorino, preferably pecorino toscano

salt and freshly ground black pepper

200 grams (1 1/3 cup) Italian 00 flour

125 ml (1/2 cup) pork stock (preferably made with boar meat)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

freshly grated pecorino, to serve


Wild Turkey Bratwurst

  • 5.3 lbs Boneless wild turkey meat — Best is a mix of breast and thigh. Those who just "breast 'em out" & don't save legs and thighs do not have permission to use this recipe. See notes below about dealing with pellets.
  • 2.7 lbs Fatback
  • 55 grams salt — 1 oz = 28.3 grams
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp fine ground white pepper — Or black. The difference is more about presentation than flavor.
  • 8 tsp Granulated or powdered garlic — The intarwebs claim powdered is twice as strong as granulated by volume. I've never noticed it.
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated nutmeg — Pre-ground if that's all you have, but nutmeg is much better freshly grated.
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 Tbsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Savory
  • 4 tsp lemon zest — Optional, but you will loose a taste test against someone who includes it.
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 3 tsp caraway seeds — toasted and crushed a bit with mortar/pestle
  • 1 cup non fat dry milk powder
  • 2 eggs — optionally omit yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 yards 32-35mm natural hog casing — Shop carefully, pricey in small quantities. Extra should last at least a year or two in the fridge if packed in salt.
  • 5.3 lbs Boneless wild turkey meat — Best is a mix of breast and thigh. Those who just "breast 'em out" & don't save legs and thighs do not have permission to use this recipe. See notes below about dealing with pellets.
  • 2.7 lbs Fatback
  • 55 grams salt — 1 oz = 28.3 grams
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp fine ground white pepper — Or black. The difference is more about presentation than flavor.
  • 8 tsp Granulated or powdered garlic — The intarwebs claim powdered is twice as strong as granulated by volume. I've never noticed it.
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated nutmeg — Pre-ground if that's all you have, but nutmeg is much better freshly grated.
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 Tbsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Savory
  • 4 tsp lemon zest — Optional, but you will loose a taste test against someone who includes it.
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 3 tsp caraway seeds — toasted and crushed a bit with mortar/pestle
  • 1 cup non fat dry milk powder
  • 2 eggs — optionally omit yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 yards 32-35mm natural hog casing — Shop carefully, pricey in small quantities. Extra should last at least a year or two in the fridge if packed in salt.

This recipe was updated in April 2020 to add some new spices, and to make some detailed changes to the instructions.

Poaching is not mandatory, but with sausages containing eggs and dairy it works best — creating a nice firm texture. If making patties you can poach them using the sous-vide method then brown them with a torch or on a hot grill or pan..

Like any other game taken with birdshot, it is VERY important to take the time necessary to check for and remove any pellets before cooking. This involves careful, observant trimming before packaging for the freezer. Candling meat strips when preparing large pieces for grinding is a good last step to be sure you didn't miss any. A small percentage of any lead you may have missed is "bio-available". No safe level has been established for children or pregnant women. And if you use non-toxic shot such as bismuth, steel, or tungsten - errant pellets may be hard enough to break your grinder knife and damage your grinder plate. Not to mention your teeth.

If poaching via sous-vide, avoid applying enough vacuum to distort the casing. Either use the water displacement method, or an external style sealer — pressing the "seal" button the instant you hear the motor pitch change or see that nearly all of the air is out. If using a chamber style sealer turn the vacuum time down far enough so that there is a little bit of space still visible around the brats - you may have to waste a bag or two while dialing that setting in.

Cook and serve like any other bratwurst. Take them to at least 165°F. Best if nicely browned. Enjoy!


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