Okay, before you absolutely poo poo this experimental cooking endeavor and run for the hills because you’ve read the words “wild boar” let me just tell you this cut of meat was so delicious. It is by far the best thing i have tasted yet in my quest to add new proteins to my diet and i love it even above fried quail legs, which is really saying something. So if you want to be closed minded go ahead and leave. You’ll never know this delicious flavor and i’ll chalk it up to a situation of “oh well, more for me.”
I would be irresponsible not to acknowledge where i am getting some of these cuts of meat from and the speed with which this went from a grazing animal to vacuum sealed and in my kitchen. When you cut open a package of meat from the grocery and plop it onto a cutting board there are two things working against the flavor of the meat. One, it is old. This is not a piece of meat that was walking around three days ago. Two, this is an animal that has been bred and raised in captivity. It is not eating a varied diet and it is not roaming a vast open environment. I have chickens that live in a pen in my yard. I can tell you that even though i clean that pen regularly, most of the time they are standing in and contaminating everything with their poop. They roll in it when they take dust baths. They’re birds. They try to eat it when it falls out of the other ones butt. “It moved. It might be food. Oop, its not.” My friend has free range chickens. They get eaten by foxes, coons, and coyotes a lot, but i am struck by how clean they look compared to my girls, because they are pooping and then moving on to another spot. I dont want my chickens to come to an early demise, so they will remain in their pen. However, if i was a person who could eat chickens and i had to eat a chicken, i would choose hers, because they probably find more vegetation and critters/insects to eat and theyre cleaner. They’re walking on ground and rolling in dirt where there is not chicken poop. In conclusion, i am worried that i will not like the lamb in my freezer…not because lamb isnt a palatable meat but because i have become spoiled by the flash frozen vacuum sealed express shipped fresh meats from broken arrow ranch. They are an organization that rids ranches of excess pest animals and then sells the meat online. They use a portion of the money they make to pay the rancher for each animal they took off their hands. It is a neat organization. Its not cheap and so i can only make an order once a month but it began as a way for me to get my hands on some venison without having to learn how to shoot and process bambis and it turned into a way for me to obtain wild fed meat fresher than i’d ever had it.
so up until the wild boar my friends and coworkers seemed mildly interested in my endeavor to add proteins my body wouldnt recognize and reject as something i’d tasted in childhood and then abstained from for two decades. When i showed them the pictures of this particular experiment, every one of them screwed their face up and decided to educate me on how dirty and stinky wild boars are and all the nasty things they eat. I was a bit surprised by their strong rejection of wild boar on a cleanliness and respectable feed material basis of argument, as i had watched an episode of “dirty jobs” where they put all the leftover rotting buffet food in las vegas into a dump truck, drove it unrefrigerated to another nearby city, and dumped the collective mix match of spoiled buffet foods into a trough for hundreds of pigs to eat. There was everything from crab legs to pound cake. I couldnt imagine this was good for them but hey, they werent my pigs. Chickens stand in a dark warehouse in a layer of their own feces and just eat and eat and eat until they are harvested, but since theyve been washed, we’ll eat them. Why should wild boar be any different? It is the ultimate nuisance animal and if a use can be found for the meat, it’d be awesome in my book if it didnt go to waste.
I did read the description of each cut of wild boar that was available for purchase. All but one of them had a disclaimer typed at the bottom of the description stating that wild boar had a hormone that would render the meat strongly flavored, which my friends labeled with the word “gamey” so i could better understand the fantastic spin of the product. The “wild boar loin” did not carry such a disclaimer. Instead, the description promised a nutty tasting cut of meat with a mild flavor. I generally liked nutty things. Cicadas tasted like shrimp if shrimp had a baby with peanut butter, and i loved them. So i took a chance and ordered the wild boar loin.
When it arrived i noted that it appeared to be a very firm meat with a lighter color than the venison or bison. I used a recipe for honey dijon garlic glazed pork loin but i modified it. I didnt want a lot of flavors present. I wanted to actually taste the new protein sources to see if i liked them. So, i left out the mustard and garlic and went with a simple honey butter glaze (vegan butter). I followed the rest of the recipe instructions for temperature and cooking times.
I began by getting out all my various jars of raw unfiltered honey and tasting them to see which one had the level of sweetness and flavor i was looking for. I settled mostly on two different kinds of mountain clover honey. They were both very smooth and creamy. One had crystalized and the other had become a very solid kind of paste. One was medium brown and the other was nearly cream colored. I threw in one spoonful of raw unfiltered honey from hunt texas just because of its amazing sweetness. The mountain clover honey was smooth, creamy, and mild but i was worried some of the sweetness would be lost during the cooking process so i had to get in there with a spoonful of the super crystalized stuff that tasted like straight unapologetic sugar. Then i added a hefty amount of vegan butter and a drizzle of good quality imported olive oil to keep it from burning throughout the whole cooking process. I put this on low heat in a saucepan and stirred rapidly until the mixture was a bit toasted, darker colored, and thicker.
The recipe called for me to coat the pork loin in the sauce and put it into the oven for 25 minutes. Then i was to take it out, coat it again with more of the sauce, tent it with foil, and cook it again in the oven for 30 additional minutes.
When the second timer went off i poured the rest of the honey butter mixture over the meat and let it rest for ten minutes.
The final result looked pretty tasty. There was a sticky solid outer crust to each piece of meat. The texture of the inside of the wild boar loin surprised me. The outer shell was sticky, gooey, and crunchy. The inside, however, was soft, and closer to the texture of well cooked turkey than beef. It was soft and the fibers came apart easily as you chewed. I was so surprised by this. I had expected it to be closer to the texture of venison or beef since it wasnt a bird. It was soooo hard to eat only one bite that first night when the meat was sweet and warm and fragrant and i wanted to taste the flavor again. But, to introduce a new food, the system required one bite on the first day with an additional bite each day after that. To keep it fresh i have placed one of the two pieces into the freezer in a bag of honey butter sauce and i will thaw it again when i am ready to eat it. Once i have fully introduced a food i can eat a whole meal of it. Right now i could set into several quail legs or a plateful of venison and nothing would happen, but rejection is still a notable risk with boar so i must stick to the program until my stomach has accepted it as a new permanent food source.
I am going to attempt to explain this texture and flavor and perhaps it will become apparent why this is my favorite food tried yet. Have you ever gone to an asian restaurant and there are these bits of pork belly where it is crispy on one side, buttery soft on the other, and there is this criminally sweet sticky glaze covering the whole thing? It has been a couple decades since i tasted this, but i think this experiment turned out a great deal similar to the sweet sticky pork that i remember from my childhood restaurant going days. The outer shell is crunchy, sweet, and buttery. It is very sticky from the honey. There is a somewhat toasted caramelized flavor from stirring the butter and honey mixture on the stove before pouring it over the meat. The inside is soft and densely fibered like turkey or chicken. The fork slides right in. The meat itself does indeed have a mild nutty flavor, as if the animal has been eating acorns. So you immediately get the sticky crunchy sweetness of the honey, a buttery flavor that lingers as you chew, and a nutty after taste that comes in once the sweetness has left. It leaves you chasing that nutty after taste and you almost want another bite just to see if you imagined it.