Wild boar lasagne recipe – a tasty, autumnal dish
This indulgent, tasty autumnal dish is best served with a good glass of red wine, writes Cai ap Bryn. It is a firm favourite for his family. Serves six.
I am sure the majority of people would agree that lasagne is one of the best dishes ever created. It is ridiculously tasty and indulgent; a full meal in one slice. It’s also easy to make in advance and can be frozen for quick meals. This recipe can showcase most game meats. I prefer boar mince; however, I have used venison, pheasant and pork, and even pigeon and pork in it.
Wild Boar Lasagne
- Olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 500g wild boar mince
- Glass of red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400g passata
- 300ml beef stock
- Generous pinch of oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 50g butter
- 60g plain flour
- 600ml milk
- 60g parmesan
- 50g mature cheddar
- 1 buffalo mozzarella ball
- 12 lasagne sheets
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to a pan over a medium heat. Sweat the onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes to soften. Then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Brown off the mince in the same pan before adding the wine to deglaze. Stir in the tomato puree, passata and beef stock, and leave to simmer for an hour. Then add seasoning to taste.
- While the ragu is cooking, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, slowly add the flour and stir to a smooth paste. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, continuously stirring until all the milk is added and the sauce is thickened. Add bay leaves for extra flavour if you wish, and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
- Assemble the lasagne in an oven dish. Begin with a layer of ragu, then a layer of lasagne sheets. Next add more ragu and top with some white sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Repeat the process until all the ingredients have been added, finishing with a layer of white sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. Slice the buffalo mozzarella and spread over the top.
- Cover with foil and place in a preheated oven for 45 minutes at 180°C/gas mark 4, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes to crisp up the cheese and add colour. Serve with garlic bread and a nice glass of red.
Note on mince
Since I got my hands on an electric meat grinder, I can make my own mince to my desired consistency with little effort. The quality of electric meat grinders these days is fantastic — and they really are not that expensive either. I can guarantee you will soon recoup the cost of buying one when you start to mince and process your own game.
Wild boar recipes
I have created various wild boar recipes over the years as it is a really versatile meat. I have always been fascinated with the boar population here in the UK; their reintroduction is a fantastic story.
Prior to being hunted to extinction in the 1300s, these animals were the pinnacle of hunting quarry, famed for their boldness and aggression. Killing a wild boar was a sign of bravery. Now they have been back in the UK for a few decades, they have quickly established a few strongholds, notably in Scotland and the Forest of Dean — where I shot the beast I’m using for this recipe. To shoot a wild boar is a privilege. I respect all my quarry, but the wild boar always makes me equally excited and nervous. Despite their size, they are crafty and unpredictable. I have spent many nights out hunting boar without so much as a sniff but, when I do get one in my sights, the adrenaline really kicks in. They are stunning animals that epitomise the true meaning of the word wild.
Read more on wild boar in the UK here.