Braised Wild Boar

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So many hunting recipes I feel don’t do the wild game justice. I’m hoping to buck that trend and provide the wild game aficionado a few recipes outside of the jerky and stew realm.

Pig has always been a magical meat. Wild boar is no different. It’s just leaner and not juiced up like commercial pork.

If you hunt later in the spring, you find pigs thick as tree trunks, hopped up on acorns and living the good life. As the year wanes, the fattiness follows and the reality of the wild slims them down. No matter the season, if you have the opportunity to eat a delicacy like wild pig, please DO NOT pass it up. And if you’re the type who might find it fulfilling to hunt your own food… GO OUT and give it a try. It’s not the barbaric event that many make it out to be. It’s a solemn experience that makes you respect every bit of the animal you are cooking.

So after falling into the good fortunes of the hunting gods, I brought home and butchered a beautiful wild boar. The prospects of pigs are like that of a blank canvas; the sky is the limit. Braising is always a good idea when you have a lean cut of meat that requires longer, slower cooking times to break down and tenderize. Wild pig is especially lean depending on the time of the year, so in this recipe, I use a boned out shoulder that is covered in a dry rub, seared and braised. Top with a chimichurri or romesco sauce.

Braised Wild Boar Shoulder

The Goods

  • 4-5lb pork shoulder
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 3-4 tablespoons of The Rub
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • splash of balsamic

The Steps

1. Dry the pork should and coat with salt and pepper and The Rub.

2. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Get out that dutch oven and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat on the stove.

3. Sear the pork on all sides. You might need to add more oil during this process as the meat will be lean and won’t render much fat.

4. Remove the pork and set aside on a plate. Saute onions, garlic and carrots on the same pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add bay leaf and oregano once vegetables are caramelized.

5. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and return the pork to the pot. If more liquid is needed, add some water to almost cover the meat. Add a splash of balsamic.

6. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 3 hours to braise.

7. Remove the meat from the pot. It should be fork tender. Reduce remaining liquid by half on stovetop.

8. Return meat to liquid. Taste for seasoning and serve.

 

9 Comments

  • Reply July 4, 2014

    virginia smith

    Do you suggest tenderizing the meat first like in a wine or something? Or will the cooking tenderize it enough?

    • Reply July 4, 2014

      The Epicurean Pig

      Wine would do the trick. Although the braising process is what really breaks down the meat and tenderizes it.

      • Reply July 4, 2014

        Virginia

        What would you recommend for a large hog shoulder…we are using your recipe and rub…

        • Reply July 4, 2014

          The Epicurean Pig

          For a large hog shoulder : go ahead and soak overnight in wine, garlic, bay leaf and balsamic. If you don’t have time over night, not a problem. Skip the marinade, but for a large shoulder, cook for 3.5 hrs at 325 or until ultra tender.

          • July 5, 2014

            Virginia

            Got it! If you don’t mind can you give ratios or parts for the soaking? We have time…I have been thawing it since yesterday and will be cooking it tomorrow. I have learned with Gane meat take your time with everything!

      • Reply July 5, 2014

        Virginia

        We have time. I am not cooking it until tomorrow and I set it out to thaw yesterday. Could you give parts or ratios for the soaking? I have learned with game meat you better give yourself time!

        • Reply July 5, 2014

          The Epicurean Pig

          A basic brine I’ll use is 3 cups water or wine, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 brown sugar, Bay leaf, garlic clove, splash of balsamic. Stir until everything dissolves and add pork

  • Reply August 17, 2014

    Justin

    Love the recipe! Here in Texas wild hogs are often shot and left for the birds. They wouldn’t if they were to try this recipe!

    • Reply August 10, 2015

      The Epicurean Pig

      The same thing happens here. It’s a shame. That being said I’d love to do some hog hunting in Texas. It’s on my bucket list.

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