Sunday, April 3, 2016

Wild Boar Mango Picadillo


      I am always looking for new recipes to prepare my wild game harvests.  I have found wild boar to be very tender when the animal is harvested young enough (<200 lbs.) and cooled quickly after butchering.  Wild Hogs can get mighty big (>400 lbs.) and although they make an impressive trophy, the meat isn't very palatable;  too tough and gamey.  My challenge for preparing wild hog has always been how to overcome the bland taste.  During my last hunting trip to south central Texas I had a chance to talk at length with the local 'Ranch Chef' who informed me that the best way to get the most flavor out of wild pig is injection and marinade.  Additionally, use plenty of dry rub or seasoning while cooking.  We have had good luck with Tony Chachere's Cajun Butter/Oil injection kits.  I'm sure the choices can be as varied as your imagination. 
      We always have plenty of strip type meat when butchering.  Previously we had only used this for Fajitas so our addition looked like a winner.  First of all we put small slices into the strips of meat and marinated this in a Mango Habanero sauce for several days, turning occasionally. 

      When ready to prepare meal heat a large cast iron skillet on medium high.  Add strips to the pan, not stirring, so the meat has a chance to brown.  Once one side is nicely browned use a fork or tongs to gently flip the pieces to the other side, stirring as little as possible.  When browned, drain off any fat in excess of a tablespoon (there won't be much).   While the meat mixture is simmering, cook a cup of either orzo or rice (your choice).  
       Lower the heat to medium and stir in 1/3 cup chopped onions, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 diced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon each of coriander, cumin (I use green chili powder), oregano, and thyme.  Gently stir in 1 cup of mild tomato based chunky salsa and 1 mango cut into small chunks as well.  I may even add some dried mangos if I have them on hand.   Simmer this for about 5 minutes.

      Reduce heat to low and cover pan, simmering for another 2 minutes.  Place an amount of orzo or rice onto serving dish and top with pork mix.  Sprinkle with chopped almonds and cilantro.  I found the dish to be incredibly delicious. 

"There is an absolute surety to the hands-on conservation lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and trapping where you know you're going to consume today"
            Ted Nugent
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