1/4 cup kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) or 2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup palm sugar or light brown sugar
Steamed rice and cilantro, for serving
In a very large skillet, heat the oil. Add the boar shanks in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the shanks to a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven.
Add the garlic, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the water, soy sauce, <em>kecap manis</em> and sugar and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
Pour the liquid into the casserole and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, until the meat is tender and nearly falling off the bone, about 2 hours; turn the shanks occasionally.
Transfer the shanks to shallow bowls and strain the broth. Spoon off as much fat as possible. Serve the shanks with rice and cilantro and spoon some of the fragrant broth on top.
Robust, meaty Syrah from the Rhône’s Crozes-Hermitage region goes well with gamey meats like boar.