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Jul 29, 2010 08:37 AM

What to do with wild boar butt?

A friend gave me a wild boar butt roast for my birthday and I'm not sure what to do with it.

Any suggestions? Will it cook like a pork butt or is it drier/fattier?


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  1. it will be leaner, and stronger in flavor than farm-raised. it might be nice to do a recipe where you roast it in a "roasting bag" (like for turkey) with some aromatics -- i'm of course thinking garlic and fresh sage, fresh thyme, and a good splash of unoaked dry white wine and some olive oil (rubbed on), salt and pepper (good amount). i'm thinking rosemary might be an alternative to the sage. you can also do it in sort of a german style with juniper berries (if you like that flavor).

    this offers a little more detail about the differences in wild vs. farm-raised "production" pork: what i found interesting especially was the emphasis on removing the wild boar's "soft fat."

    this recipe with pineapple sounds like it might be tasty, too -- for a little sweeter profile.

    2 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      Thanks for the suggestion. I don't do those plastic roasting bags (BPA and plastic ester concerns) but I think I could get the same results with a dutch oven.

    2. Most of the "wild boar" consumed in the US is neither. Assuming that your friend purchased the roast, treat it just like a pork butt - slow roasting and braising are your best bets. But be careful not to overcook it - there will be some fat, but not nearly so much as in domestic pork.

      If your friend's a hunter and harvested the pig, then you've got a lot more questions to ask to figure out the best way to handle it. Age, sex, diet, and habitat will figure prominently in flavor and texture. What works for a big tusker that spent his life in mountainous forest land isn't going to bring out the best from a piglet that lived on the valley floor eating walnuts and pinot noir grapes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: alanbarnes

        This boar butt was not hunted - he got it from a game farm.

      2. The title suggests so many rude jokes. I agree with the braising idea. I would make a braised stew with juniper berries.

        3 Replies
        1. re: gourmaniac

          As we know, a pork butt is actually the shoulder, not the ham which comes from the hind leg. As mentioned above, environment will dictate cooking methods; as you said it came from a" game farm", where they chase the animal out of a cage prior to the "hunter" blasting it on to a higher use. These animals are little more than cage raised domestics that are from old line varieties.
          Bottom line is, these animals shouild be quite tender and good slow roasted at low temps. A slow hot smoker works well too.

          1. re: ospreycove

            >>"as you said it came from a" game farm", where they chase the animal out of a cage prior to the "hunter" blasting it on to a higher use. These animals are little more than cage raised domestics that are from old line varieties."<<

            Um, no.

            1. In order for its meat to be legally sold in the the US, a boar must have been killed in a USDA-approved slaughterhouse. Meat killed by hunters cannot be sold.

            2. Wild pigs are so hearty, prolific, and invasive that it makes no economic sense to raise them in pens for canned hunts. Besides, canned hunts are all about taking trophy animals, which tend to produce low-quality meat.

            3. While some farm-raised "wild" pigs are kept in quarters resembling those used to raise domesticated animals, most are allowed to forage over a significant area - hundreds or thousands of acres. Again, it's a question of economy; wild pigs do such a good job of finding their own food that it doesn't make much sense to pay for Purina Boar Chow.

            For more info on game meats:

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Flaxen stated she was given a wild boar butt, of course if purchased, not hunted, that is a whole different source and requires USDA Stamping.
              True European Wild Boar are in fact a trophy mount. Feral pigs, are usually what people are refering to when mentioning "Wild Boar ". Here, in Florida there are quite a few feral pigs that do great damage to the Citrus Groves when they "root" with their snouts to eat fungus bugs, roots. Since they are omnivorous, farm fields and gardens are raided regularly too. One problem with the Florida Feral Hog, for me, is that they tend to be very wormy. Some people will cage trap them and feed them special rations to de-worm them before slaughter.

        2. Wild boar shoulder (butt) is really delicious in Marcella Hazan's ragu bolognese recipe in place of the ground beef.

          And for those that have been discussing this above, just confirming that wild boar is a breed that is raised on farm. It's not "wild" in the sense that it lives in the wild and is hunted.

          1. You could overnight it to MGZ, maybe???

            Actually, there is a real low oven braise method for lamb that would work. Basically, it's a roasting pan braise with aromatics and some liquid (like alkapal lists) covered with foil. It cooks at your oven's lowest setting all day. Let me see if I can't find my notes.