‘Dolceforte’ (literally meaning ‘sweet and strong’) recipes call for raisins, pine nuts, grated chocolate, candied fruit, sugar, flour, vinegar and a little water. This mixture is poured on the meat once it has nearly finished cooking. It adds an intense but refined flavour to the meat. On eating this dish, there is first the sweetness of the chocolate, then the strong flavour of the meat and finally the bitterness of the cacao. This dish has a long cooking and preparation time which means that often it is only prepared on special occasions.
- 1 hare
- 50 gr. prosciutto (Tuscan ham)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 sprig rosemary
- a little flour
- 50 gr. dark chocolate
- 50 gr. pine nuts
- 50 gr. raisins
- 50 gr. candied citrus fruit peel
- ½ glass red wine vinegar
- extra-virgin olive oil
- brown cane sugar
- salt and pepper
- Cut the hare into pieces, add salt and pepper.
- Chop the onion, carrot, celery and prosciutto and sauté in the oil with the garlic and rosemary.
- Add the hare, brown, drain off the oil and cook over a slow flame adding water or light stock occasionally to keep moist.
- In the meantime prepare the dolceforte sauce mixing the raisins, pine nuts, grated chocolate, candied peel, sugar, flour, vinegar with a little water.
- When the meat is almost cooked add the dolceforte, cook for a few minutes more to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.
Meats in dolceforte are good the following day provided they are served hot. There are variations to this recipe – drizzling the meat with white wine before adding the water or stock, or soaking the pieces of hare or boar in vinegar or salted wine overnight to soften the wild-game flavour, then rinsing and drying, blanching for 10 minutes, then again drained before cooking.
Then there is a lighter version of the dolceforte sauce which only requires vinegar and sugar.