Wild Pig and Bear Recipes

Chopping up wild hog BBQ
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

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Wild boar is a princely meat when that boar is young or it was a sow; old boars can get funky and are much more challenging to cook. As omnivores, whatever the wild pigs were eating before you came along and shot one will determine how they taste, and, in some cases, what you can do with them.

A pig shot in a California summer will have been eating a lot of juniper and other strong-flavored forbs, and so the meat will be fascinating but strong. That same pig taken in spring after eating much of a farmer’s green barley sprouts will surpass any domestic pig, no matter how well raised. As with most things, timing and location are critical.

Bears are even more variable. A black bear that had been eating berries — or in the case of one group of Southern California bears, avocados! — will be wonderful eating. But that same bear could taste like low tide on a hot day if it had been eating dead salmon by a stream. You will get some idea of the quality of the meat when you field dress it. Just pay attention to your nose.

Both animals lend themselves to curing, but both, unfortunately, can be carriers of trichinae parasites that cause trichinosis. This does not apply if you are making regular sausage, as these will be cooked before you eat them. Read this article on trichinosis in wild game for all the details you need to know.

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Four varieties of fresh, homemade sausages on a plate

Homemade Sausage Recipes

Recipes for fresh sausages with all sorts of meats, including wild boar and bear.

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Loin Recipes

A plate of wiener schnitzel.

Wiener Schnitzel

Pounded boar or bear loin breaded, fried in butter and served with lemon. Simple and good.

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A plate of jagerschnitzel

Classic Jaegerschnitzel

Another pounded cutlet — of any meat, really — served with a creamy mushroom sauce.

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Japanese ginger pork on a plate with chopsticks

Japanese Ginger Pork

A simple Japanese pork loin recipe, served with mushrooms, ginger and soy sauce.

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pork with asparagus stir fry

Pork Stir-Fry with Asparagus

A very easy, very simple and lovely dinner done with the loin of wild pig (or really anything) and asparagus (or really any seasonal vegetable).

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Pork loin with asparagus on a plate

Green Garlic and Pink Pork

Wild Boar tenderloin with roasted asparagus and a green garlic sauce.

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Stews and Braises

A bowl of asado de puerco with beans and rice alongside.

Asado de Puerco

This northern Mexican dish exists in many forms, and it contains a surprising ingredient: avocado pit!

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A bowl of javelina stew.

Ajiaco, a Javelina Stew

A Yucatecan stew with all sorts of tropical flavors. Works great with any meat, really.

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Cochinita pibil tacos ready to eat.

Cochinita Pibil

Another Yucatecan classic, this one may be the best thing you can make with a javelina or pork shoulder.

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A plate of ossobuco milanese

Ossobuco Milanese

Shanks from a bear slow braised in the classic Italian method. You can make osso buco with large boar shanks, elk shanks or moose shanks, too.

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Chinese red pork in a bowl with chopsticks

Chinese Red Pork

Chinese barbecued wild boar belly. It is made of awesome. And yes, this works with bear and domestic pork, too.

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A bowl of chile colorado

Chile Colorado

A Mexican classic, the “colorado” refers to the color of the stew, not the state.

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pozole rojo in a bowl with all the fixins

Pozole Rojo

Possibly the national dish of Mexico, this stew predates Columbus. Great with pork, chicken, bear or whatever you have lying around.

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Chile verde in a bowl, ready to eat.

Pork Chile Verde

Another Mexican classic, only this time the boar is braised in roasted green chiles and tomatillos.

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Chilaca pork stew in a bowl

Chilaca Pork Stew

This is a homey, easy dish from Michoacan, in Mexico. Pork, tomatoes, green chiles. What’s not to love?

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pork cheek recipe

Cheek by Jowl

Braised wild boar cheek with crispy jowl bacon.

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A bowl of Portuguese feijoada.

Portuguese Feijoada, or Pork and Beans

This is the original feijoada, a thick pork and beans stew, made famous in Brazil. This version is more European.

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Wobbly Bits

grilled deer heart recipe

Grilled Deer Heart with Peppers

Boar heart cut into cutlets, grilled over a hot fire and served with grilled peppers and onions.

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liver creme caramel

Wild Game Liver Creme Caramel

Yep. I went there. And it is really, really good!

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Pelmeni dumplings.

Pelmeni and the Eating of Bears

Russian dumplings, a little like big tortellini, served with onions and sour cream.

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malloreddus pasta recipe

Sardinian Gnocchi with Wild Boar

A traditional Sardinian recipe of simple, handmade pasta with a rustic meat sauce.

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Wild boar bolognese recipe

Authentic Bolognese Sauce

An authentic Italian Bolognese sauce for pasta, made with wild boar or bear meat.

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Other Recipes

wild hog BBQ

Wild Hog BBQ

Classic pulled pork barbecue made with a wild hog or bear shoulder.

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German meatballs recipe

Konigsberger Klopse, German Meatballs

German wild boar (or bear) meatballs. This is a very traditional dish in Eastern Germany.

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A tray of crepinettes, made from wild pork.

French Pork Crepinette

This is a French style meatball wrapped in caul fat, which you can get out of a wild pig — or buy in a butcher shop.

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bear fat biscuits recipe

Bear Fat Buttermilk Biscuits

Yep, you can make some really awesome biscuits using rendered bear fat instead of butter. Works with lard and duck fat, too.

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A bowl of twice cooked pork

Sichuan Twice-Cooked Pork

Classically done with pork belly or shoulder, this works well with a fat wild pig or bear.

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Chinese char siu boar recipe

Chinese Char Siu Pork or Wild Boar

Chinese style char siu pork, done with wild boar belly. You could use domesticated pork or bear for this, too.

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