Thursday, July 21st, 2005

Wild Boar Roast Preview

My wild boar birthday party was a huge success! It’s going to be a future Hostess Project article for August, but here are a few random highlights for now:

  • I picked up the wild boar from Don & Joe’s Meats and was shocked to find it looked nothing like the pig I roasted last year; it, uh, had no skin.
  • The wild boar looked grotesque without any skin, but it was fascinating to see all the muscle groupings and how they fit together. We named him Francis Bacon.
  • I decided not to marinate Francis, but instead soaked him overnight in a vinegar and brown sugar brine.
  • While Francis was not very tender, he was delicious and boar-y tucked inside banh mi sandwiches filled with fresh pickled veggies.
  • People brought a beautiful array of appetizers including summer rolls, chicken and mango in wonton cups, galloping horses and peanuts coated in a coconut candy shell.
  • My brother made Vietnamese iced coffees, which require the cutest little coffee filter contraptions. I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but I couldn’t stop sipping these!
  • The simple syrup drinks were a huge hit, except for the pandan leaf; it was a little weird in the drinks and most people thought it smelled like old gym shoes.
  • The cream puffs I made for dessert were delicious tasting, but for some reason the cream never set up. I served the puffs with a bowl of the lemon-grass cream filling on the side, like a dip.

Oh yeah, and I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on top of all the guests’ coats (and purses and pokey cell phones) during the middle of the party. But maybe that’s not a highlight…

24 Responses to “Wild Boar Roast Preview”

  1. Dr. Biggles says:

    Fell asleep or passed out? If it were me? I would have passed out.
    Man, I’m contemplating your hog party as my birthday destination next year. Heh.


  2. joey says:

    Wow! That looked great! One of my dream cooking goals to to roast a pig outdoors…I live in a condo so slim chance. BTW, tried the dry roasted ribs…excellent! Everyone loved it! Used beef ribs though so had to roast it longer, but it came out great…soft inside with crunchy bits outside. Will try some pork ribs next :-)

  3. Stephanie says:

    We’re having a luau this weekend for my son’s birthday, but this looks like more than I could pull together right now. Maybe when he’s older! :) Looks like it was fun though!

  4. Katy says:

    That’s so incredible! How weird that the pig looked different than last time …

  5. megwoo says:

    Biggles, I’m not sure there’s going to be a next year… I can’t seem to produce the all-around tender pig/boar that I want using the above ground method. Plus it’s just so expensive! I’m thinking next year I’ll do another pulled pork party. You’re welcome to come on up!

  6. megwoo says:

    Joey, Glad you enjoyed the ribs. I’m actually going to make them again this weekend… this time I’ll be patient enough to take pictures! Your Roast Chicken with Grapes looks and sounds sublime—I’m definitely going to try that one out.

  7. megwoo says:

    Your Luau sounds like fun! I’ve always wanted to host a luau. What kinds of food are you making?

  8. stef says:

    wow, i’ve never had wild boar!!! it looks weird but very yummy! about the pandan leaves—have you tried them in rice—just stick a couple of leaves in your rice cooker—it will give the rice a wonderful fragrance…. also try pandan ice cream—babyrambutan.blogspot.com just posted about it—and there should be some pandan cake recipes on the net. so many things to do with those green leaves!

  9. Thanks for the sample – I finished it off today… :-)

    ~ B

  10. MisChef says:

    OMG I can’t believe you left the head on. that’s too much for me… I am the opposite of a vegetarian: I won’t eat food UNLESS it has a face (no clams, mussels, sea urchins, jellyfish, sea cucumber….) However, I don’t actually want the face ATTACHED when I’m going to dig in!

  11. Happy (Belated) Birthday, Meg. Looks like quite a bash!

    Dry ribs are the way to go, IMHO. Ribs are really subjective, but I like to take the back membrane off, rub ‘em with a great dry rub and go for it.

  12. Congrats again Meg. The only boar at your parties is edible! Yay!

  13. megwoo says:

    I did try the pandan leaf in rice—delicious! That ice cream looks great. Such a beautiful color! Thanks!

  14. megwoo says:

    B, You’re welcome! I’m glad you got to try it!

  15. megwoo says:

    MisChef, It was a bit gruesome but I figured if I was going to roast a whole wild boar then I should leave the head on for effect. Plus the cheeks were actually the best part of the boar!

  16. megwoo says:

    PC, Thanks! I forgot to mention the wild boar ribs: they hardly had any meat on them, but they were INCREDIBLE—probably the most flavorful of all the different cuts of meat.

    I found out Exotic Meats sells wild boar ribs, so I’m going to try them out with a dry rub. Mmmm!

  17. megwoo says:

    Thanks AugustusGloop!!

  18. Dr. Biggles says:

    Okay, scoop me. You had an entire piggy and it was tender juicy enough?
    At the top of my thought would be that the acid in the vinegar would have kinda cooked the beast before hand. But I don’t really know.
    Dammit, how the HELL can you roast an entire hog and not have it juicy? Do you have any thoughts?
    And yes it is expensive, which is why my Caja China Roasting box is getting SOLD. I don’t have the extra scrilla for that.


  19. megwoo says:

    Well, no. I mean it was edible for sure, but it wasn’t falling-off-the-bone tender like I wanted. Definitely the best parts were the cheek meat and the ribs—which happened to be the only parts that were well cooked. The hams were on their way to becoming tender, but I still think they needed another 3-4 hours. Someone suggested injecting the boar with brine and marinades, but I’m not entirely sure that would help with tenderness. Basically, I think the boar needs to cook for a long ass time over a VERY low heat. I want to try burying a pig one day, as that seems like the best method. Until then, I’m sticking with pig parts where I can easily control the cooking time and temperature.

    I was worried about the vinegar as well, but the game sites I looked at said vinegar was the best method for leeching out the blood, which can make the boar too gamey tasting. It really worked well, as the tub was full of blood. We had to tell my brother it was just brining liquid so that he’d help us move it. Okay, probably too much information.

  20. Keiko says:

    Meg, this looks incredible (and I’m sure I won’t be seeing this here in the UK…)!

  21. megwoo says:

    Thanks Keiko!
    You should check this out: “The first U.K. website devoted solely to the interests of free-living wild boar in Britain. Yes! After an absence of more than 300 years wild boar are roaming and breeding in the British countryside once again.”


  22. Perry Baker says:

    I am cooking a wild boar this spring for my brothers birthday.We built a big roaster as we bbq whole pigs quite often.I was thinking of stuffing it with alot of apples and oranges.Im hoping this will keep it moist and help with the wild taste.The pig is coming from a local wild boar farm,maybe not as much wild taste.Any ideas would be helpful,Thanks Perry

  23. megwoo says:

    Hi Perry,
    Sounds great!! The trick is definitely keeping it moist. One thing that shocked me was the lack of fat/skin on the wild boar, so I would suggest getting lots of bacon or fat cap to protect the meat. I’d also recommend cooking it as slowly as possible over a long period of time. My only complaint with the boar was that it was a little tough because we cooked it too quickly.

    Also, from what I read, the vinegar brine really helps with the gaminess. After the soak, ours wasn’t gamy at all—just full flavored.

    Hope that helps… have a great time!!

  24. Wendy Griffin says:

    We are roasting a wild boar that my son will be going out and shooting for his graduation open house. I am worried about it being too dry, but he does not want to go with a domestic pig. He is thinking that a smaller, younger one might be better, what do you think? How long would you recommend cooking it? Thank you for any advice you can give.

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