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Wild Boar on the menu

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have noticed a lot of trendy restaurants have "wild boar" on the menu these days.  I have considerable experience dealing with feral hogs of all sizes and genders. While I am of the opinion that wild sows of any size are fantastic on the table, I condider the boars to be virtually inedible. Even young boars have that distinct musky odor that, to me, renders them unfit for the table. 

 

When you see "wild boar" on the menu at a restaurant, what are you actually getting?  I will say that one of the best feral hog meals I ever prepared came from a barrow, which is a castrated boar, of around 250 pounds. Is that the product restaurants are serving?

 

Do any of the food professionals on Chef Talk offer this in their restaurants, and, if so, how do you prepare it? 

 

post #2 of 12

Good question, OldPro.

 

The only true wild boar in the U.S. are found in western North Carolina. The rest are, as you note, feral hogs. Parts of Florida and Texas, in particular, are covered up with them. But they're found in many states.

 

The "wild boar" used to stock hunting clubs are the same feral hogs, which are live trapped (primarily in Florida) and transported to the site for release.

 

As an aside, there is more BS written and spoken about wild boar hunting than any other outdoor subject I can think of. If I hear one more story about climbing a tree to escape a charging boar I'm gonna go in the corner and spit up. Puleeez!

 

Probably if you contact somebody like D'Artagnon they can fill you in on the sourcing.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 12
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Good question, OldPro.

 

The only true wild boar in the U.S. are found in western North Carolina. The rest are, as you note, feral hogs. Parts of Florida and Texas, in particular, are covered up with them. But they're found in many states.

 

The "wild boar" used to stock hunting clubs are the same feral hogs, which are live trapped (primarily in Florida) and transported to the site for release.

 

As an aside, there is more BS written and spoken about wild boar hunting than any other outdoor subject I can think of. If I hear one more story about climbing a tree to escape a charging boar I'm gonna go in the corner and spit up. Puleeez!

 

Probably if you contact somebody like D'Artagnon they can fill you in on the sourcing.

I've been told that many years ago some Russian boars (and sows) were imported by a rancher in South Texas to stock his ranch to hunt them.  Big mistake on his part.  Through the years they interbred with feral hogs to produce the hog population which has exploded all over Texas.

They are not particularly dangerous game unless you're a dog, but they will tear a dog up.

 

I called D'Artagnan customer service, but they weren't particularly helpful.  Their "wild boar" product comes from a Texas ranch, where they are trapped, penned, and slaughtered.  I suspect they feed them a corn mash for a couple of weeks before buchering, which is a fairly common practice.  I would be surprised if the meat isn't from sows. 

 

post #5 of 12

Good article on a wild boar farm here in Minnesota: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/112902719.html 

 

Heartland (the Lenny Russo restaurant they mention) currently has a wild boar cassoulet on the menu. It's one of the best things I've ever eaten.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #6 of 12

Nice article, Greg. Thanks for posting it.

 

I was particularly impressed with Lloydie. He's a monster, alright. Typically, wild boar (usually called either Wild Russian or Wild European) average about 225 for the males and slightly smaller for the females.

 

Not your typical Poland-China. thumb.gif

 

Old-Pro: That's a typical result of game farms that go wrong. Western NC is an exception, because NC was a leader in establishing fence laws. As far back as 1935 it was illegal to free-range unfenced livestock. So, when a sportsman's club that had imported wild boar went bust, their stock not only went wild, they didn't interbreed with domestic pigs. It's said that the population in the Smokies is at least 99% pure as a result.

 

I can't speak for the genetics. But visually there is no sign of domesticity in them. They're the spitting image of their European counterparts.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 12

There's a private game preserve here in NH which stocks European wild boar, reportedly 12,000-15,000 of them.  Occasionally they escape and are hit by cars or hunted by local hunters.  In addition, there are scattered populations of feral pigs, which are a completely different thing.

post #8 of 12
Quote:

Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

 

If I hear one more story about climbing a tree to escape a charging boar I'm gonna go in the corner and spit up. Puleeez!


I'm just curious KYH, why is that? I've found myself face to face with boars more than once and didn't really know what to do each time. Luckily I've never seen a boar charge, they usually just stood there looking at me and finally went away, which is just as well for me (otherwise I would probably have been the one to turn and walk away since I was hiking, not hunting).

 

Once me and my friends were in a forest at night and we heard and saw some boars coming toward our campfire. We got quite scared and thought about climbing up a big rock that was next to us, but finally we just stayed there and they didn't approach any closer than a few feet, which was enough to scare us and come home with tons of exciting stories to tell our friends.

 

smile.gif

post #9 of 12

I've placed wild boar rib chops on the menu and have received some good feedback, but never tried any other body part.

post #10 of 12

missouri has a shoot on site, you don't need a license, kill the @#(*$&@  that multiple rapidly and distroy the good folks of MO's farmland....killum' killum' all....

There are billboards around the state....

 

So, wild boar....word amoungst my french friends is to get um young prior to muskiness...apparently males get quite musky.

My dad had a friend who shot a razorback in Ark back in the mid 1960's....my mom didn't soak it and it was pretty awful.

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 12

I'm just curious KYH, why is that?

 

You've kind of answered your own question, French Fries.

 

Wild boar simply aren't the dangerous animals they've been made out to be. Usually what happens is that a hunter is on a game trail, and, when the pig takes off it happens to run down the same trail. Not knowing better (most hunters who encounter pigs have never hunted dangerous game) the hunter swears the pig is charging. But in point of fact, if the hunter too one step to the left the hog would run right past him.

 

I killed my first one just that way, standing on my toes a la Don Quixote to gain enough reach, and shooting him as he moved passed. With actual dangerous game (lions, tigers, leapards, Cape buffalo, grizzly bears, etc.) if you step away from the line of charge the animal will turn right with you. What makes such animals dangerous is that they're fully willing and capable of hunting back. And pigs just aren't that way. When threatened their first inclination is to get gone.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 12


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post
And pigs just aren't that way. When threatened their first inclination is to get gone.


Thanks KYH.

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