Dec 13 2012

Alternative Christmas Dinner (Kate)




Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


Civet de Sanglier is a ragout of wild boar slowly cooked in red wine – or to put it more simply, a red wine stew. It is a recipe that can be used for a tough shoulder, leg or fillet of boar – or any other larger game such as venison if you prefer. In Provence, this would be called a “Daube de Sanglier“.

Being game, it’s an ideal alternative as a Christmas or Boxing day meal if you are looking for something a little bit different to the traditional turkey or want something that can be prepared in advance and simply heated up when it is required.





For a main course for two, use the measures below.


  • Leg/Shoulder of boar cut into 1 inch pieces (500-700g      is plenty)
  • Bacon lardons (small packet)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A cup of mushrooms (your own favourites – I use      button mushrooms for this)
  • 1 bottle of robust red wine
  • 1 small glass of Cognac
  • 2 Tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 Tablespoon of flour
  • Herbes be Provence (dried), bay leaf and fresh      parsley (a good handful)
  • Butter & olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


How To Cook It

Use a deep thick pan or casserole dish with a lid.

Place a knob of butter and good glug of olive oil in it and then add the bacon lardons. Warm up on a medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Put the onion and the carrot in, cut into small’ish chunks rather than thin pieces. Cook for a couple more minutes then add the garlic cloves (whole).

Turn up the heat to ¾ (not all the way to full on) and add the cubes of meat – you must keep stirring regularly so that nothing burns or sticks. Add a little more olive oil if necessary.

After about 5-10 minutes, reduce the heat and sprinkle in the flour and stir in making sure it turns brown but doesn’t burn (I usually take it off the heat to do this and then return it to the heat when all the flour is well mixed in).

Then add the tomato puree, mushrooms and herbs du Provence and mix in

Add the Cognac and the bottle of wine so that all the meat is covered (top up with a little water if necessary to cover it). If you don’t need to use all the wine to cover it, put the remainder in a glass and drink it while you are cooking!

Add a good pinch of salt and black pepper, bay leaf and the fresh cut parsley.

Turn up the heat to bring the wine up to boil, stirring continuously.

After a couple of minutes reduce the heat to low, put the lid on and gently simmer for at least 2 hours – check regularly to ensure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan or reducing too quickly. Cut the celery into slices no thicker than the width of your little finger and add in about an hour into this simmering stage. Take it off the heat when it is at a consistency you like (a good thick stew that’s not runny).

As with all stews it will taste better the next day so allow to cool properly and then put into the fridge until required (try not to leave it in any longer than two days).


How To Serve It

Roast some vegetables – parsnip, potatoes, large peppers, etc. See the picture below of my roast veg before they go into the over. Just drizzle some olive oil over and cook at 180 degrees until they are done to your liking.

Alternatively, some ribbon pasta or rice is just as nice with this.



I had it with chestnuts and small chunks of strong French and Spanish (Chorizo) sausage in with it once in Corsica. Stronger taste but nice. You would add the sausage in at the same time as the bacon lardoons, the chestnuts at the same time as the celery.


Civet de Sanglier

Civet de Sanglier


Roast Vegetables

Roast Vegetables

Dec 7 2012

Alpha Dog Food Christmas News (Kate)


Hi everyone. Just a quick note to let you know what’s happening in December and about our new recruit, Asami from Japan.

Next week, we start our run in to Christmas with seasonal recipes, ideal presents for the avid cook, places to eat and one or two other surprises. Expect a couple of posts a week for the rest of the month so please subscribe if you haven’t already done so and you won’t miss any new ones as they will be sent directly to you.

Our latest recruit is Asami  麻美  (picture below) from Yokohama in Japan. Asami means “morning beauty” in Japanese and she is going to pass on some Japanese recipes that are easy to cook. We hope to see Asami’s first blog post in January.




The only other thing I can say is a very Merry Christmas from all the girls here at Alpha Dog Food. Have a good one.


Merry Christmas!