Cooking Wild Boar Pork Chops
Easy Pork Chops
I needed an easy pork chop recipe because I went on a Georgia wild pig hunt a few weeks ago. This was my first hunt where I was specifically looking for wild boar, or wild hogs if you prefer. Managed to kill a nice little 160 pound boar hog and had him turned into sausage, chops, ham steaks and whole ribs and shoulders.
Now a lot of people have told me that wild hogs, especially boars, are just not fit for the dinner table. Well, they are mistaken. Not only has this pig made the absolute best sausage I've ever had, but the pork chops have been incredible.
Lean, full of protein, and very easy to cook, wild pigs will be an important food source for my family from now on.
But how do you cook wild boar? It is very lean after all and easy to dry out. You could add some other meat fat, like bacon, but then you probably just ruined the lean aspect, as well as the flavor.
Well what you do is use apples.
I don't know the science, don't really care either, but apples keep pork from drying out like nothing else. And for wild pig cooking, you just can't beat 'em.
Now it's no secret that apples and pork go together in a mystical way. Half the BBQ teams out there will tell you they have apples in their competition meat, and the other half do too, they're just lying about it. It's just one of those combinations that God gave us as a special treat.
It is a bit of a talent to apply the two together though. But with a little care, you too can create great wild pig recipes. I'll tell you what I did with a set of wild boar pork chops and you can use it as a starting point to develop easy, tasty, healthy recipes with pork.
I started off with ten chops, each about an inch thick and maybe five inches across. A liberal application and rubbing of fresh-cracked pepper, a sprinkle of salt, paprika and ginger with just a touch of olive oil smeared on with your fingers. (Yes I said you don't need another fat, but this is to help hold everything on) (And it's just a touch, maybe 1/4 teaspoon per chop)
Set that off to the side for thirty-odd minutes and slice up 2-3 whole apples so they will fit in the food proccessor. You want to drop the apples in and grind them up using the pulse feature. You don't want to turn them into apple soup, you want to end up with little chunks about the size of matchheads. I prefer Granny Smith apples, or better yet, some green apples right off the tree when in season. Add a half to one teaspoon of cinnamon and stir to mix. Now let this sit for twenty-thirty minutes and then drain the liquid, a mesh drainer works perfect for this.
We're going to cook this on the stove, but you could also use a cast-iron skillet on the grill to add some extra flavor. I also prefer a cast-iron skillet on the stove for cooking meats. I'm sure other types are just fine as well, but cast-iron is what I'm used to, and it's so easy to control the heat with. Get it good and hot using a high setting on the burner. Set your pork chops in the hot skillet and get a light sear on either side, about a minute per side should do it. Then pull them out of the pan and turn the heat down to a medium to medium-high setting. When your skillet has cooled down a little, put half your apples in the skillet, making a bed for each pork chop, then your chop and then the rest of the apples over the top and cover the skillet with a lid.
You'll need to turn the chops after about 4-5 minutes and then re-cover the skillet. On my stove I can cook these chops at the medium-high setting in about 12 minutes total, yours may be different. Either way, take the lid off the skillet for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking and move the chops to a clean spot in the skillet to evaporate off the water and to brown the chops. Then remove from the heat and set aside, covered loosely with aluminum foil.
The apples will have the flavor cooked out of them so they can be discarded, but if you have some apples left you can make a delicious side or dessert very simply. Just cut some apples into eighths, dip them in lemon juice and cook them in a hot pan on high heat with some sugar, butter and white wine. Three apples will need 2-3 pats of unsalted butter, four-five tablespoons of Sugar-In-The-Raw and 2/3 cup of white wine. Add more sugar while cooking if you want this as a dessert and then sprinkle with powdered sugar and maybe serve over ice-cream if you're feeling a little decadent. As a side, which is what I prefer, leave them fairly crisp and maybe use red wine or brandy instead of white wine if you want a richer taste.
Add some roasted new potatoes for another side and a big ole pitcher of iced tea and you're in business Bubba.
This is a simple, basic way to cook wild boar while still maintaining the integrity and health benefits of wild meat. You can add to this as you like for your personal tastes.
Above all else, have fun and enjoy!