Japanese Braised Boar on Soba Noodles
Szechuan pepper is also known as Sansho pepper and is usually available ground. It has a lemony taste. Ground black pepper can be substituted if Szechuan pepper is unavailable.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1½ pound boar shoulder
1 tablespoon peanut oil
¼ cup sake
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and matchsticked
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
1 pound dry soba noodles
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 275°F. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the boar. Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's heated, add the peanut oil. Sear the meat on each side for 3 minutes, or until it is browned. Remove the meat from the pan.
Add the sake to the pan and use a spoon to scrape any stuck-on bits. Stir in the ginger, stock, honey, soy sauce, and Szechuan pepper. Place the meat back in the pan and let the sauce come to a boil.
Cover and cook in the center of the oven for 3–4 hours, or until the meat is tender and close to falling apart. Remove it from the skillet and keep warm.
Place the skillet over medium heat and let the sauce boil until it reduces by half. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Slice the meat thinly and serve it on the soba noodles. Pour some of the pan reduction over the noodles and sprinkle with scallion. Serve warm.
Soba noodles are native to Japanese cuisine. They're often made from buckwheat and are similar to a thick spaghetti noodle in size and shape. They're denser and chewier than Italian pastas since they're made from a different flour. In Japan they're often served cold during the summer and hot during the winter.