WILD PIG RECIPES

Wild pigs can be some of the tastiest animals that you take out of the woods. And just like domestic pork, all bits of the wild pig are edible. A couple of key points to keep in mind are that the older boars can sometimes taste a little "off" and the meat isn't quite as tender.

Their diet can also play a role on how the meat smells and tastes. You could try hunting pigs in locations near agriculture fields, but they move around so much you just never know what they've been eating prior to harvesting them. The best tasting pig that I've eaten in years was harvested exiting a swamp wilderness area. I was sure that the meat would be subpar, but to my surprise it was virtually odorless and tasted great.

Before cooking and consuming wild pig meat, I recommend that everyone read this directly from the CDC that covers pretty much everything you need to know about trichinosis. There are other links located on the left side of the CDC's webpage with other valuable information on trichinosis as well.

​​

“Nose-to-tail eating is not a bloodlust, testosterone fueled-hunt.

It's common sense and it's all good stuff." 

                                                                                                     

 ~ Fergus Henderson

RECIPES CATEGORIZED BY CUT OF MEAT OR STYLE OF DISH

LOINS & TENDERLOINS

These cuts are easy to work with and are tender enough that they don't need much work in the kitchen other than a short brine or marinade. They can be simply prepared by roasting them whole, cut into mignons, pounded into cutlets or cured and smoked for Canadian bacon.

HIND LEGS (HAMS)

This primal cut of a wild hog is the largest of them all. It's a little leaner than the shoulder and has less connective tissue as well.  They can be dry or wet cured whole, cooked whole, broken down into smaller roasts and cuts such as top round, sirloin tip, bottom round, sirloin roasts and sirloin chops.

SHOULDERS

Generally what you are going to use when making sausages and barbecue. This is due to the fact that this cut contains more fat and collagen than the hams, which in turn means more flavor and juiciness. The shoulder can be cut into two sub-primals, which include the famous Boston butt and picnic.

RIBS

Great slow cooked or boned out and added to your grind. There are different styles of ribs depending on how you butcher them. You have traditional style spareribs and St. Louis Style spareribs and babyback ribs.

BELLY

While the belly of a wild hog usually isn't thick enough for noteworthy bacon, it's still worth saving it from being thrown into the grind pile. It's great braised, smoked, stuffed, cured and made into little crispy lardon nuggets.

HEAD

Wild pig heads can be cooked whole and made into a rustic headcheese loaf thanks to all of the gelatinous goodness that it embodies. Or you can remove the cheeks, braise them, smoke them, cure them or a combination of all three. The ears are also great after being cooked in a liquid until tender and fried crispy.

FEET & SHANKS

The feet are widely known here in the south as the part of the pig that you pickle. But they are also great added to stocks for extra flavor and body. The shanks and feet can also be braised, picked clean and the meat used in various recipes.

OFFAL

The variety meats department for pigs is pretty much as that of venison. You have the tongue, kidneys, liver, heart and caul fat. The main difference here being that the heart must be cooked thoroughly to be on the safe side due to the possibilities of the hog carrying trichinosis.