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HELP! Killed a wild boar...now what?

Our Sat. morning cycling plans got postponed by the sight of two wild boar tilling up the pasture right behind the yard. Husband shot one, he thinks it exceeds 300 pounds (and was the smaller of the two.) I wanted to "put a pig in the ground and some beer on ice" but unfortunately, Hank gives no further instructions.

So, now I have two huge loins and de-boned hams to deal with. They are currently in the fridge downstairs, unwrapped. With deer, we always let the meat age in the fridge for about a week before final butchering and eating and wrapping for the freezer. What about this stuff? Any ideas?

If hanging/aging is not the protocol for wild hog, then I would go ahead and eat it tomorrow night. I'm going to assume I need to marinade it. The meat looks pretty good and the fat is white, not yellow. Can I just roast a loin lowand slow, or must I braise?

And how shall I turn the ham into wild pulled pork?

I'd love to hear any tips from those w/ experience...this is our first wild hog. Oh, and if anyone has suggestions regarding the whole pig in the ground thing, I'll take those too...because if his friend comes back, we could get a do-over.

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  1. These look like some chow-worthy recipes. ;) Good luck!


    1. A lot of the lower cuts of wild bore tend to end up in sausages.

      It is still pork, treat it that way. The lean upper cuts will need less cooking and attention than the tougher lowers.

      There are also plenty of vids on this sight for curing bacon, pancetta, etc.

      1. Here is another interesting site that includes some youtube videos on cooking wild boar.


        1. Yikes! Isn't the the "Help!" part before they're killed? :-)

          I haven't ever had any raw boar to cook, but what I've eaten has been slowly braised, meltingly tender deliciousness. Hope yours is just as good!

          1. There's a lot to be said about roasting a pig in the ground. I think this site is about as good as they get for providing the necessary instructions:
            Pulled pork? Sure. My son kills three or four wild boar every year to I end up with a lot of the meat. I simply slow roast it, just like I would with a domestic pork butt, to make pulled pork. It's terrific.
            My son also makes sausage (combining duck and wild boar) that's exceptionally good but I don't know how he processes the stuff; I just get to eat it.
            Best of luck with nailing the other one in your "do-over". Once you've gotten acquainted with wild boar meat you'll want to have it as a regular part of your menu.

            1. My father used to raise boars (well, they were held in huge pens in the woods). Every year we would make a mechoui (whole hog roasting on a rotating spit). So delicious. We would stuff the beast with apples and oranges, and it would roast for hours. My step mother would make delicious terrine with some of the shoulder meat and remaining fat.

              1. Reporting back:

                I marinated the a piece of one gigantic loin in a little white wine for a few hours. butterflied, stuffed w/ a paste of fresh oregano,basil,thyme and sage and olive oil, tied up and rubbed w/ spices. Roasted in the oven just like pork loin. Then, because my parents were coming over to be ginea pigs, I got nervouse about trichinosis, etc. and cooked the crap out of it. I brought it up to 163, I know, i know, so it's my fault he was a little dry and tough. Great flavor, though. Not gamey (even though I wouldn't necessarily consider that such a bad thing). I'm going to cook some more loin later this week , maybe to about 150 and see how that goes. The meat is incrediby lean...I may lard it w/ a little bacon.

                The meat is still "aging" in the fridge uncovered to dry out a bit. Does that sound right to you guys? We'll probably wrap and freeze all the the rest of one loin tonight.

                Thanks for the tips (I didn't get a chance to read them til just now...had to get up at 5 am for a tri yesterday and then have guests for dinner) I appreciate the help.

                5 Replies
                1. re: danna

                  This guy says not to age it. http://www.askthemeatman.com/pork_Tri... (keep scrolling down


                  Keep reporting back, it's really interesting to those of us who never encounter much besides a squirrel or a sparrow in our backyards!

                  1. re: GretchenS

                    It's freaking me out too! We've lived in this house 10 years and we started seeing turkey out the back window a 3-4 years ago, and now this. I suppose as more and more habitat goes, they get closer and closer. I saw some deer under my apple trees last year.

                    which reminds me...I served the backyard-boar with the frontyard-apples. Wouldn't Alice Waters just die? ;-)

                    1. re: danna

                      I just happened to read about this right before you posted about your wild boar... apparently they're an invasive species in the U.S.A. I've never seen a live one, and I sure hope they don't start showing up here!

                      This link has a map & links to state govt pages on wild piggies. Apparently hunting policies are rather liberal, since what the food chain needs for balance is LESS of them.

                      I thought the above info was fascinating enough on its own, and now I get to hear all about you eating one! LOVE that you served them with apples! About as locavore as you can get!

                      Any sausage plans?

                      eta: I see you discussed the hunting rules & regs 2 days ago - good that you can do the right thing and be legal about it, too. Can't believe someone shot your own your turkey on your own property from a CAR. First, my goodness, that's oh-so sportsmanlike. And second, there are no words for how much that would freak me out! Ayiyiyiyiyi!

                      1. re: Mawrter

                        invasive is right. I was told by someone suffering from wild boars [they rooted in his apple orchard so hard that they turned over the trees] that they were brought in by rich people in California for hunting and --lacking any predators--they spread like wildfire.

                        We were in a Slow food group that arranged for a hunter to get one which was slow roasted for a big feast. It was sooooo awesome. Alas, California's dopey rules being what they are, they couldn't be sold at the farmer's market.

                    2. re: GretchenS

                      You *can* cure it and age it - you just have to deep freeze it for 3-5 days to kill the trich worms

                  2. The Saloon in Chicago makes, whenthey have it, wild board ribs, that are fantastic, call them and ask them for the marinade that they use.

                    1. Not cooking related, but in many areas, killing animals (especially large ones) roaming on your property is illegal. Ignore my post if you have a beat on it, but if not, you should check with your state's fish and game department to find out any regulations.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jeremyn

                        No it's a very good point. As I understand it, wildlife on your property is subject to the same rules as wildlife anywhere. In this case, wild boar are considered such a menace that they are always in season and there's no bag limit. And my husband has a hunting license. Actually, we called DNR last year when some &%*$#&@* shot one of "our" turkeys from his car. Yes, we had a driveby. Illegal 3 ways: out of season, private property, from a vehicle.

                        Which is another subject i really should research....one of these days I'll wind up with a wild turkey I won't know how to cook. But for now we like watching them too much to shoot at 'em ;-)

                        1. re: danna

                          Here are some recipes for wild boar. When we were in Italy we had a wonderful wild boar pasta sauce.

                          (I haven't tried any of these recipes as of yet.)


                          Fettuce con ragu (pasta with wild boar sauce


                          This recipe is classed as easy

                          Wild boar meatballs with spaghettini and rich tomato sauce
                          1 hrs 50 mins
                          Wild boar meatballs with spaghettini and rich tomato sauce
                          1 hrs 50 mins
                          Wild boar meatballs with spaghettini and rich tomato sauce
                          1 hrs 50 mins .Tips and suggestionsDrink with...
                          SangioveseRelated Videos

                          3 tbsp extra virgin Olive oil
                          1 Onion, chopped
                          1 clove Garlic, crushed
                          10 Juniper berries
                          pinch freshly ground ground Nutmeg
                          pinch ground Cinnamon
                          4 Bay leaves
                          3 tbsp tomato purée
                          675g minced wild boar
                          250ml Red wine
                          150ml chicken stock
                          500g fettuce pasta
                          black pepper
                          freshly grated Pecorino cheese, to serve

                          1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic, juniper berries, spices and bay leaves and fry gently for 5-6 minutes, until the onion is soft.

                          2. Add the tomato paste, meat, wine and stock then simmer gently for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the sauce is rich and thickened. Season to taste.

                          3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and add to the sauce. Toss well and serve immediately, sprinkled with pecorino cheese.

                          Pappardelle with wild boar sauce Arezzo-style
                          Recipe by Valentina Harris
                          SERVES 4
                          Preparation 10 minutes
                          Cooking 4 hours 30 minutes

                          1 onion, peeled and chopped
                          1 carrot, scraped and chopped
                          1 stick celery, chopped
                          100g chopped prosciutto crudo
                          4 tbsp olive oil
                          450g wild-boar stewing steak, cubed
                          1 large tumbler of full-bodied red wine
                          sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
                          5 tbsp tomato purée, diluted in about 6 tbsp hot game
                          or beef stock
                          300g canned tomatoes, sieved
                          large pinch fennel seeds
                          small pinch cumin
                          400g pappardelle
                          grated Parmesan to serve (optional)

                          Fry the vegetables gently with the prosciutto and the olive oil until the onion is transparent, then add the meat. Seal on all sides until browned, then pour over the wine, add seasoning, cover and simmer for about 3½ hours, or until the meat is completely tender. During this time, gradually add the tomato purée and canned tomatoes. Once the meat is falling apart, add the fennel seeds, the cumin and stir thoroughly. Simmer for a further hour, covered. Check the seasoning.
                          Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, add the pappardelle, stir and return to the boil. Drain the pasta when it is al dente, return it to the pot in which it was cooked and add the sauce. Mix it all together thoroughly and transfer to a serving platter or individual plates to serve.

                        2. re: jeremyn

                          "killing animals (especially large ones) roaming on your property is illegal"

                          The legality of hunting has nothing ay all to do with the physical size of an animal. It's just as illegal to kill a squirrel or a duck out of season as a moose. Killig an animal on your own property is NOT illegal unless you reside in an area that bans hunting or it is out of season.
                          IE; Inside the city limits etc.
                          Having said that feral hogs are NOT game animals in most states. They are a nuisance and shot on sight. There is no season or license required in many states.

                        3. Wow a lot of questions and I'll try to help. First off I think you are wise to cook the meat well and not treat it like store bought pork. Trichinosis is a very real problem in some animal flesh. Unless you know for sure that the animals in your area do not typically have it you should indeed utilize the meat in ways where it will be well cooked.
                          In regards to aging or hanging all meat is better (IMO) cooled hung and aged. The reality however is that most of us don't have walk in coolers at home to hang a hog. Unlike deer season in the fall when the temperature is cool enough to hang venison out side it is August. So that makes aging the meat if you process it your self a difficult proposition at best. Nothing wrong with drying it out a little in the fridge.
                          I would brine the meat as well.
                          I think you already have some great ideas. Pulled pig and sausage are favorites. Making sausage does not have to be overly complex. You can simply grind some of your meat and combine it 50/50 etc with what ever other sausage you like. Italian sausage for pasta or B'fast sausage for patty's etc. Of course you could also buy seasonings and go for 100% whole hog snausage.
                          Another option that is easy and stores well is canning the meat. Great for stews or even BBQ and chili.
                          Here is a marinade I like to use;

                          1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatos
                          1 teaspoon of ancho en adobo (I puree it fist so it's easy to measure)
                          1/2 of 1 lime juiced
                          2 Tablespoons oil
                          2 cloves of garlic
                          S & P plus some oregano

                          Toss it all in a processer until it's smooth.
                          Marinate the pork over night.
                          I like to grill onions and peppers and serve this on tortillas with some queso blanco.
                          You could also pan fry some ground meat in in this blend for spicy nachos.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Fritter

                            That sounds very similar to what I had with my Boar at The Saloon in Chicago. It was great.

                            1. re: Fritter

                              As Fritter implied above, trichinosis is essentially a non-issue these days in supermarket pork. But even for wild boar, trichinosis is killed at 137 Fahrenheit, so you can still cook it nice and rosy pink (140-145) without worry. Just use a meat thermometer you trust.

                            2. Update:

                              Cooked another piece of loin to 150 instead of 163...much better. AND a friend w/ a Big Green Egg has volunteered to smoke one of the hams, so I'm excited about that. I plan to try the Ragu as suggested here with one of the other peices.

                              Thanks Mawrter for the interesting links. Particularly the part about boar competing with White Tail Deer for food and even eating their newborns. Two days after the boar was killed, my dog alerted us to 5 deer cavorting in the same pasture. I've never seen deer play like that. I think I could even hear them singing "Ding, dong, the witch is dead."

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: danna

                                LOL, I am enjoying reading your boar saga, keep it coming.

                                I will have to live vicariously; no wild boars in my DC-area 'hood. Years ago my SO lived in Marin and small wild pigs used to come up to the patio doors and leave noseprints. I mentioned sausage and people reacted as though I was I murderer.

                                1. re: danna

                                  Oooh, I bet there are a lot of people who'd enjoy that happy deer dance on YouTube if you ever catch that again with your camcorder handy! :-)

                                  I'm glad you sound something of interest! The deer population is outta control here, and we're one of the worst counties in the U.S. for Lyme Disease. So ecologically, it would be helpful to bring the deer population down, even if sensitive suburban types like me feel a little squishy about actually hunting them (yes, it's ridiculous - I eat meat. But. Bambi!). I guess it's harder for me to be so horrified about killing a wild boar since they're actively dangerous. But cute or no, we'd all be better off with less of both species.

                                  So, this boar... think you can make bacon out of some of it?

                                  1. re: Mawrter

                                    As odd as it may seem deer are far more lethal to humans than boars or feral hogs. The number of people killed annually in car/deer accidents is staggering.
                                    Venison is delicious.

                                    1. re: Fritter

                                      Great point - I don't know whether you mean per animal, or just reflecting that deer populations seem to be higher nationally and distributed in more metro areas than the boar, but either way, yup. I was really more talking about attitudes than facts up there in my previous post.

                                      There are no boar here (except on a plate!) but deer/motor vehicle accidents are common; they cause considerable damage and some fatalities as well.

                                      1. re: Mawrter

                                        I'm just reflecting on populations in general which in many metropolitan areas kind of goes hand in hand with the attitude or general out look that you were reflecting on. I live adjacent to a Metropark and the deer population in the past has been really out of control. Lots of accidents.
                                        Oddly enough we do now have wild boar in Mi as well. It's a shoot on sight proposition as requested by our DNR.

                                      2. re: Fritter

                                        My cousin in Montana has totaled 4 cars in deer accidents. She has been blessed not to have any serious injuries though.

                                    2. re: danna

                                      One of my favorite memories is of being at a friend's house that had floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting there watching Judge Judy (I know, I know, but I love the show :) ), drinking a beer, watching the snow pile up, & then watching a herd of 35 deer file one by one into the yard & cavort & feed on some pine trees. Amazing. And herd behavior is fascinating -- actually much like people behavior!

                                    3. Just had to report my intense jealousy. My husband has always told me that the wild boar meal he had was the best meat he's ever had in his life. Looking forward to hearing more!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: fearlessemily

                                        I would have to agree. I had dinner with 3 overly pretentious people, but what I remember about the meal was how good the wild boar was.

                                      2. I am so jealous. One of the best things I ever ate was a braised wild boar pot roast-ish sort of thing with cranberries in Paris. It was always the late fall special and I was always sure to stop by the restaurant and get some....mmmmmmm.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jenn

                                          There is a dish from Thailand called " Jungle Curry", which tastes especially yummy with wild boar. It is made with no coconut milk and can be unbelievable spicy.

                                          I'm not a hunter myself, but certain animal populations do need some help staying under control by humans. Since we have killed or driven away too many natural predators, like wolves, foxes and coyotes. Enjoy the wild boar and if you ever come down to the Boston area, we would buy some off of you!

                                        2. Update:

                                          My friend slow cooked a whole boneless wild boar ham on his big green egg on Monday. Smoked it about 12 hours and brought it to 180. He marinaded it in soy and various other flavorings and larded w/ bacon. I thought the flavor was delicious and he got some nice brown bits on the outside, and a pretty pink smoke ring. Unfortunately, Mr. Piggy was a little tough and dry. My pitmaster was disappointed, but upon eating it, I thought it was a lot better than he said. I pulled it (very difficult because of the toughness) and ate it in a sandwich w/ fig preserves.

                                          I think we have proved that the wild boar just does not have enough fat in it to be prepared in any way that doesn't involve liquid. I'll leave my remaining pieces in the freezer until we get a breath of fall and then try some boar-guinon.

                                          thanks for all the interest.

                                          p.s. to Stellar - tell it to my kitty Sumo, may he rest in peace. He could only WISH we had driven away the coyotes.

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: danna

                                            Your friend cooked that ham way too fast and hot. I run 22 hours on a six pound pork butt. The BGE allows you to use a pan on the plate setter with liquid. I'm guessing that step was skipped which is unfortunate. If it was hard to pull apart the conversion process had not completed. That process does not start to near completion with a large BGE running at 220 and using indirect heat until the 18 hour mark.
                                            Another option would have been to use an injected marinade.

                                            1. re: Fritter

                                              As you can see from the photo, I think he did exactly what you mention w/ the pan. I know NOTHING about the subject of low and slow smoke, but just curious...have you done a wild boar? I couldn't tell from your post above whether the pic in question was wild or doemstic. My friend is convinced that the lack of any fat is the problem here. Thanks! Oh, and on a 22 hour cook, how much of that time are you present? It sounds daunting ;-)

                                              1. re: danna

                                                Unfortunately your friend did not use a plate setter. It looks like some sort of fire brick. The problem with that is that it's square and a BGE is round so a lot of heat is getting by on the sides. Additionaly some stone can radiate a LOT of heat. That's a more direct cook than you would get with a plate setter.
                                                The second issue I see in your photos is the "ham" itsef. That looks like a boneless tied pork roast. When you say "ham" I'm expecting that you roasted the entire hind quarter with the bone in.
                                                I'm also (Fair warning!) assuming that your "wild boar" was a domestic feral hog and not a boar. The lack of fat was not the problem if you did indeed lard it and didn't just wrap the exterior with bacon.
                                                Your roast looks like it was only three pounds so I'm at a total loss here as to how you only get a three pound ham off a 300# hog.
                                                I'm always home when the egg is running but after the first hour the beauty of the BGE is that it doesn't need much attention. A 24 hour smoke is pretty easy, No getting up in the night etc.
                                                Let your friend know that if he/she wraps their polder thermometer wire that is exposed inside the BGE in aluminum foil they will get a lot more life out of it.

                                                1. re: Fritter


                                                  so, obviously, I don't know what a plate setter is.

                                                  no, it was, in fact, a ham...cut from the hind quarter of the boar...but boneless, as I mentioned. We had time constraints and my husband was unwilling to spend the time to butcher carefully and leave the bone in. Then...I let it age about 4 days and then removed all the dried outside bits...that lost at least another pound or two. I wound up giving my friend about 6 lbs of meat in a big round-ish slab. He rolled and tied it.

                                                  larded...perhaps i'm using that word wrong. There was some bacon rolled on the inside and more on the outside. But...I'm not sure all the bacon in the world makes up for zero intermuscular fat.

                                                  Finally, I DO actually know what I'm talking about when I say "boar." It was not a domestic feral hog, it was a Russian boar, elongated head, long bristled coat, and nice sharp tusks. I have a pic of that , too, but I don't want to gross people out.

                                                  thanks again for the advice and for the reminder about that thermo wire, I need to protect mine when using on the grill I suppose.

                                                  1. re: danna

                                                    "Finally, I DO actually know what I'm talking about when I say "boar."

                                                    Wow! Why so defensive? You may want to refer to your earlier posts where you referred to the animal as a Hog. I was simply trying to clarify whether it was a hog or a boar. Thus the injected "Fair Warning" humor.
                                                    This would be the first I have heard of "Russian Boars" in your state out side of a high fence. Feral hogs can have tusks as well not to mention hybrid boars.
                                                    I'm not sure I really understand how boning out a leg saves time Vs leaving the ham whole. I always found the opposite to be true.
                                                    Less work usually means I can break it down faster.
                                                    When you cook a piece of flesh like this you have two choices. Cook the meat until it's just done or cook it until it's falling apart tender. If you don't take the meat all the way to the end when going for pulled pig or you cook too hot you will always wind up with a disappointing end product. That has little to do with fat content.
                                                    As I tried to suggest earlier if you had indeed larded the roast with a larding needle or injected it with marinade then you would have incorporated fat IN to the flesh. The fat from the bacon on top of the pork roast just ran off into the drip pan.
                                                    Nearly all game meat is very lean.

                                                    1. re: Fritter

                                                      not defensive! trying to be funny! since I'm clearly clueless on a number of these issues. As I mentioned earlier, I defer to your obviously superior knowledge on the art of bbq.

                                                      1. re: danna

                                                        I don't claim to have any "superior" knowledge. Just trying to help. I do however have a BGE and as a sportsman I have cooked my share of game. I've had photos of hogs in my profile in the past. I guess the snark humor just escaped me.
                                                        All I can add is don't give up just because you found one way that didn't work out. ;-)

                                              2. re: Fritter

                                                When I ate the wild boar with my Slow food group, I seem to recall it was cooked in a pit and longer---as in started the day before we ate it--- and it really just fell apart. And no, it wasn't a feral piggy [we were in california].

                                                damn! now I'm hungry!

                                                1. re: jenn

                                                  I'm not overly familar with the hogs in CA but my inderstanding is that you have feral hogs in nearly every county.
                                                  I'll leave a link that may be of interest to you. It's from the national feral swine mapping system. Feral hogs hogs by some accounts have been in CA since the 1700's. IIR some time in the 1920's there were European boars released there and they began to cross-breed.
                                                  Now whether they are "boars" or not would be an issue for a biologist. Every pig I have had has been very good but I am told that when conditions are dry they can be very tough and not even worth cooking.
                                                  In either event I would have liked to be a part of that group! It sounds like a lot of fun.


                                            2. Danna,
                                              It has been several years since your original post, but after reading your post and lots of helpful information from others, I want to include some suggestions. To tell you is exciting for me, I am from Louisiana and we have real problem with ferral hogs. See we Cajun's enjoy our food and alcohol (beer,wine,liquor), and cooking the wildhog in the ground used to be the only way we would do it.
                                              As time has moved on and my father passed away, we looked into the New way of cooking wildhog. Most people would not trade the tradition of roasting a wildhog to this New way, but the time we have to enjoy our drinking and family socializing is way better. I will get to the p[oint, we use what we call a Cajun Microwave in the South.
                                              Before I leave the link to this site I want to tell you how we cure or age our wildhog before cooking it. First we place the wildhog in a ice chest with water and then add salt, then we add enough ice to keep the wildhog cold for 2 days. Just keep adding ice as needed to keep cold. We do this to help draw the blood out and get alot of the wild game taste out.
                                              Then we let the plug out of ice chest to drain. After draining the bloody water we add more salt to meat. And then we pack the ice chest full of ice leave the plug out and age for 4 to 5 more days. This allows the ice to melt slowly on to the meat and the salt cures the meat.
                                              And now I will give you the link to the website where you can find out about Cajun Microwaves. From there you can find helpful links on how to buy one or build one yourself. I hope that before you go out and harvest a wildhog ( some people are offended by the word kill, so I use harvest now") you would consider using the Cajun Microwave to roast your Prize.

                                              Happy Hunting and Cooking. Also try what we use to moisten any of your wild game animals and any of your meats that you like with Cajun Marinade made by Tony Chachere's.

                                              1. You could be in for a lot of work. I'd take the whole works to your local butcher. Have it all made into sausages. Goggle up some recipes using diamond cut scottish oats. We once ended up with a whole elk and had the entire beast made into sausages. The butcher got half and it cost us nothing basically.