Wild or feral hogs can have a strong taste and tough texture, especially the boars, but that doesn’t mean we have to avoid eating the meat.
While much of wild game meats end up as ground meat or slow-cooked, there are a few options for wild boar.
Some of the meat like the neck or hind quarter is great for Indian curry or goulash, the prime cuts like the loin and tenderloin are prime cuts, and with the right marinade can make an exceptional dish.
For this recipe, I wanted to achieve two things, develop the sweetness and tenderize the meat as much as possible.
The boar used in this recipe wasn’t the largest I’ve used but was particularly large. Although, the flavor of the boar was not overpowering, which may be the case with larger boars.
Tips For Marinading Wild Hog
There are generally two things I am looking to achieve with a marinade.
- Flavor: The marinade must impart flavor into the meat. This is why we choose our ingredients carefully. For wild game this is especially important and in particular, wild or feral hogs.
Wild hog can often have an overwhelming taste that most people find too strong or “gamey“.
A good marinade should be able to neutralize this taste and impart a flavor that compliments the sweet nutty flavor of wild hog.
- Tenderizing: Wild hog is known for been a tough meat, regardless of the cut of meat you use it will never be as tender as venison.
However, if you are using a loin or tenderloin you do not need to use enzymes to break down the meat.
For this recipe I used a little lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to tenderize, these work with the sweet flavor of the wild hog
- Wild tenderloin or other cuts
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place a well-trimmed wild hog backstrap into a bowl or bag for marinating.
- Add in all other ingredients and work around a little with your hands.
- Set the meat and marinade into the refrigerator. I recommend 24-48 hours but no less than 12 hours.
- After the marinating time has passed, preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the loin and allow it to come to room temperature. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Simmer the sauce and stir until it has reduced by about half.
- Place the boar in a lined baking tray and place it in preheated oven. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145F. Remove the loin from the oven and set it on a wooden board to rest. Loosely cover with foil and rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat some high-temperature oil in stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat. Place the rested loin into the hot pan and sear all sides evenly.