But as it turns out, wild boar is pretty hard to find in Chicago (unless you want to buy 10+ pounds of it, which I didn’t). In fact, I went to three of the area’s best butcher shops, came up empty handed, and was forced to settle on buffalo. Not a total loss, but not exactly as I intended. Such is life.
I remember the Longman & Eagle version being a bit sweet and a bit savory, so I added ingredients to capture both flavors. And in true Fresh and Foodie style, I added some beer — why not? I have no idea whether or not I even came close to replicating the ingredients used by Longman & Eagle in their recipe, but my version certainly satisfied my cravings.
Serve with a stack of heavy duty napkins. Knives and forks are encouraged.
Drunken Buffalo Sandwiches with Fried Sage (serves 4)
What you need:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1/4 cup for frying sage
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound ground buffalo
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces stout beer (I used a local barrel-aged stout)
- 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 brioche rolls, halved and toasted
- 16 sage leaves
How you do it:
- In a large saucepan or skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Ad carrot, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent — about four minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add tomato paste and stir into the vegetables. Cook for about three minutes. Add the buffalo and cook for about five minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add the tomatoes (with juice), beer, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire and cayenne pepper, stirring to combine. Raise the heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. It’ll thicken up as it cooks.
- Meanwhile, In a small skillet, heat the remaining quarter cup of olive oil until it’s shimmering on top. Working in batches, quickly drop a few sage leaves into the oil (careful — it will splatter) and let them sit in the oil for no longer than 10 seconds. Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Season the sage with coarse salt.
- To serve, plate a hearty portion of buffalo on the brioche rolls and top each sandwich with four sages leaves.