If you’ve been lucky enough to have a successful hunt and get a wild boar, congratulations! You now have 100 pounds or more of rich and delicious meat to feed your family. Now: what should you do with it? Well, lots of things!
As with its close cousin the domestic pig, and really with any animal, how you cook wild boar is completely dependent on which cut you’re preparing. You can use wild boar meat in pretty much any recipe that calls for pork, though the flavor will be slightly different. Similarly, you can use it in place of other meats like beef, venison, and even elk. What’s more, there are lots of great wild boar recipes out there, a few of which we’ve included below. Once you’ve got your wild boar meat back from the processor and you’re ready to get in the kitchen, here are some things you can do with it.
- Smoke or Slow Roast
The low and slow method that’s a favorite of barbecue lovers everywhere works perfectly on tougher cuts of wild boar, such as hind quarters, shoulders, and ribs. The trick to tasty wild boar, as the method’s name implies, is to cook these cuts at a very low temperature for an extended period of time, allowing the collagen in the meat to soften completely and the meat to become extra tender.
Before you turn on the heat, you’ll want to season your meat well. Just salt and pepper will allow the flavor of the boar to shine. Or, if you want to achieve a more southern barbecue type flavor, you can use your favorite spice rub. Here’s a good one that adds just the right blend of sweet and savory to your wild boar:
Mix all ingredients well in a bowl:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
This amount of rub will work for up to four pounds of meat. You can double or triple recipe as needed.
If you own a smoker, that’s perfect for hind quarters, shoulders, and ribs. You’ll want to keep the temperature between 200 and 225 degrees Fahrenheit and smoke your meat for an hour and a half to two hours per pound.
No smoker? No problem! Loosely wrap your meat in foil or place in a large casserole or enameled cast iron pot, then cook it in a 225 degree oven, following the same time guidelines for smoking.
When your meat is done, you’ll need to prepare it for eating. You can pull chunks off the bone of the leg or shoulder, just as you would with pulled pork. It can then be seasoned and used in tacos, or mixed with your favorite barbecue sauce for tasty pulled boar sliders or plates. With ribs, you can brush the tops with barbecue sauce and finish them on the grill or in a 350 degree oven to get the outside nice and crusty.
- Make a Hearty Stew
Wild boar shoulder can be cut into chunks of stew meat and used in any braise or stew. The long cooking times and abundance of liquid will render these otherwise tough cubes of meat tasty and satisfying. Add your favorite vegetables to make a well rounded dish.
A favorite stew is chili — it’s delicious, it can be adjusted to suit any tastes, and it’s great as leftovers. Here’s a recipe for wild boar chili:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, chopped
1-4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (use more if you like it extra spicy)
2 pounds wild boar stew meat
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
28 oz crushed tomatoes
6 oz tomato paste
2 15 oz cans red kidney beans
Salt and pepper to taste
In batches in a large dutch oven, brown boar meat in olive oil until browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl. Add onions, garlic, and peppers to pot and saute over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Add chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste and saute for another 2 minutes. Add boar and tomatoes, and simmer on low heat for an hour and a half to two hours, until the meat is tender and the ingredients are blended well. Add beans and cook another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve in deep bowls with cheddar cheese, green onions, tortilla chips, and sour cream.
- Stir Fries and Chops
Wild boar meat will work in just about any saute or stir fry recipe, adding an unexpected and delicious flavor to the mix. Just cut boneless chops into thin strips, then cook in a wok or large frying pan with some veggies and your favorite sauce. Teriyaki with a squeeze of lime juice is a great complement to the taste of wild boar, or you can keep it simple with some fresh lemon juice and herbs like rosemary and oregano.
As for wild boar chops, you can cook them whole. Whether they’re boneless or on the bone, this simple recipe will make them taste great.
2 large wild boar chops
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
A few large sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, gently crushed
Season chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a frying pan on medium high heat, add olive oil, then add chops. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until you’ve got a good sear, then flip and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Lower heat to medium, then add butter, rosemary, and garlic cloves. As butter melts, it will become a sauce flavored with the rosemary and garlic. Turn chops and baste with sauce for several minutes, then remove chops to a plate and pour sauce over them.