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.