Savory Wild Boar Sausage with Fried Sage, Two-Corn Polenta

Freshly-ground wild boar from the Texas Hill Country is mixed with chopped yellow onions, Italian sweet chili powder, fresh garlic, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.  Formed into patties, then fried in sage brown butter and served over two-corn polenta (fresh kernel corn and stone-ground yellow flint corn) with sweet peppers and fresh chives..

Savory Wild Boar Sausage with Fried Sage, Two-Corn Polenta

Bison and Wild Boar Meatloaf with Chile Molido BBQ, Sweet Potato Mash

Free-range bison from Thunder Heart is loosely mixed with coarsely-ground wild boar from Broken Arrow Ranch, browned onions, garlic, a pastured egg, a little chile molido BBQ sauce and just enough bread crumbs to hold it all together.

Baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then slathered with more BBQ sauce and returned to the oven until done.  Thickly sliced and served over a bed of mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with cracked cumin and coriander..

For thousands of years the Coahuitecan people have lived as indigenous hunter-gatherers in extended family groups or tribes from just north of present day San Antonio south to the Rio Grande and the Northern Mexico state of Coahuila. They were a Bison culture whose lifeways, religion, and culture revolved around their relationship with the sacred animal that sustained them.

For the Native American people the Bison is the symbol of abundance; a powerful reminder from the natural world that through respect for our earth and the creatures who inhabit it, we are provided for. –Shape Ranch

Italian Roast Boar Knuckle with Mostarda di Frutta

Boneless knuckle of wild boar is rubbed with a mixture of Italian sweet chili powder, fennel pollen, salt, black pepper and garlic then roasted to a turn, sliced and served with a mostarda of figs, pears and apricots with grainy mustard, dry white wine and a few red chili flakes..

Chili-Fennel Roasted Boar Knuckle with Mostarda di Frutta

For the Spice Rub

3 tablespoons sweet Italian chili powder
1-1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon fennel powder (substitute fennel and anise seeds)
1 scant tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

To prepare, coat knuckle roast on all sides with spice mixture and refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and allow to stand while you pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roast the knuckle until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees, about 1 hour for a 1-1/2 pound roast.  Allow to stand a full 10 minutes before carving.   Serve with mostarda, bitter greens and a hunk of crusty bread.

“Though you’ll find mostarda from Piemonte on through the Veneto and down into Emilia Romagna, the best known variation is that from Cremona (Mostarda di Cremona), which is also produced commercially. According to Italian food scholar Antonio Piccinardi, the word mostarda derives from the French moustarde, which in turn derives from mout ardent, fiery must, which was made by adding powdered mustard seed to unfermented grape must and cooking it down to produce an invigorating condiment.”

Wild Boar Leg with Chile-Apricot BBQ Sauce

I just got back from an absolutely glorious week’s vacation at the home of the Cage Free Family in the Taos Canyon of Northern New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

One of the many highlights was a picnic with family and friends beside a creek at an elevation of about 8,500 ft., where the menu included wild boar leg with chile-apricot BBQ sauce, Anasazi beans and a slaw of Napa cabbage, daikon sprouts, red amaranth, raw honey and freshly-squeezed lemon..

Wild Boar Leg with Chile-Apricot BBQ Sauce

A particularly hard-working set of muscles, the rear haunch of a wild boar requires long, low and moist heat to break down the collagen.  This specimen was first seasoned, then oven-roasted under cover at 300 degrees for 3 hours.

Next, the meat was uncovered and slow-roasted at 200 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, mopped with BBQ sauce every 15 minutes.

Finally, the roast was finished on an open wood fire for about 30 minutes, yielding a smoky, crisp outer crust and a tender, moist interior.  Our small, hungry group demolished the entire meal in record time.

For the BBQ Sauce (enough for a 7-8 lb. leg with a little left over)

1 tablespoon rendered boar fat
3 cups filtered water
1 medium Spanish onion, diced
2-3 ripe slicing tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tablespoons raw cider vinegar
1/4 cup (more-or-less) ground New Mexico chilies
1/3 cup apricots
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pan juices from a roasted boar
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Cook the onions and tomatoes with the boar fat in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until the onions are soft and the tomatoes have begun to disintegrate.

Add water, vinegar, chili powder, chipotle, apricots, cinnamon, cloves and pan juices and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to very low and simmer until reduced in volume by about 1/3, about 2 hours.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer another 30 minutes.

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