Blew the little pigs into little shreds, right onto my plate.
Anyone that lives with a hunter is familiar with said hunter bringing home dead animals, unbutchered, like a cat that leaves a dead bird on the back porch.
“It’s a gift!”
Gift indeed. When it’s a hunter, though, the “gift” is often much bigger than a dead suburban songbird. At least if it’s a planned thing, you can take it to the processor and turn whatever sorry beast lost its life into sausage. Sometimes, however, it’s butchered right there in the back yard. It begs the question, “What are we supposed to do with all this?” Which brings me to my point.
Can you make pulled pork out of a wild boar shoulder?
As long as the boar/meat doesn’t stink to high heaven, then OMG yes you can, and it’s freaking delicious!
I’ve never made pulled pork before. However, given the free hog we recently acquired, I thought, “Why not?” Sure, it’s tough and not-as-fatty-as-grocery-store-pork. But as long as you don’t rush it, it will at least be tender. Right?
Right, indeed! Despite the fact that wild hog is significantly less fatty than something you’d get at the grocery store, after four hours in a cider bath in the oven on low, all that connective tissue turns tender and gelatinous all the same.
With this recipe, you can really switch up everything to your liking. You can use beer or wine or even broth instead of cider, cumin and chili powder for a Tex-Mex twist, and even use bacon or pancetta if you don’t have smoked sausage on hand. If your hog is kinda stinky but you still want to eat it, I’d use heavy spices. Maybe even curry. Regardless, what you get is a whole pile of pulled pork to do all the wonderful things with that people do with pulled pork. Like this.
Yum. It also freezes well.
- 1 smoked sausage cut into small bits
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- pan spray
- 1 6-7 pound hog shoulder, preferably bone-in
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp ground fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 can hard apple cider + 1-ish can of water
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped sausage and sauté until crispy and the fat renders out. Remove and set aside for later.
Add 1 T of olive oil to the pan with the onions with a pinch of salt. Sauté until brown and starting to caramelize (about 10 minutes). Deglaze with water if needed and let most of the moisture cook off before setting aside with the sausages.
Spray the dutch oven with pan spray. Lay the shoulder in the pan fat side down and sear until brown. Flip and do the same. Then, add the cider, spices lots of salt and pepper and sprinkle the cooked sausage and onions over the top. Add enough water so it's about halfway up the shoulder. You should need more than a cider can's worth of water.
Cover and cook in the oven for about 4 hours, basting every hour to keep it moist. The meat is finished when it is fork-tender, falling off the bone, and very easy to shred.
Shred the pork and eat in a tortilla, as a sandwich, or plain.