Wild Boars are a pretty pervasive and destructive species and can really devastate an ecosystem if left to overpopulate. This is true in the area of Texas I grew up in and subsequently I was exposed to Wild Boar sausage on more than one occasion. So when the butcher shop had some ground Boar in stock, I got really excited to cook with it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna get the wifey to try it and so it did take me awhile to work up the courage to order a pound of it to take home. Initially, I wanted to do something utterly exoctic with the Boar but really it’s just undomesticated pig after all. So I ended up keeping it simple and made a batch of chili with it. Plus, I think it’s easier to try a new ingredient if it’s prepared in a familiar way. For this recipe, I pureed fresh chili paste for my chili but a combination of your favorite chili seasonings will work just as well. Also, I kept this batch a little closer to Chili con Carne in style but if you like, add in a cup or two of red kidney beans or pintos. The Boar was incredibly tender and flavorful and the chili was a definite hit with us both.
Wild Boar Chili
1lb ground Wild Boar
1 cup Chili Paste, recipe follows
3 tsp Texjoy Chili Powder, or to taste
3 tsp Smoked Paprika, or to taste
2 tsp Garlic Powder, or to taste
1 Red Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Orange Bell Pepper, diced
1 fresh Tomato, chopped
1 sm Cinnamon Stick
1/2 tsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Raw Sugar
1/2 tsp Rendered Bacon, or oil of choice
1 cup Steeped Chili Water, or stock of choice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice from 1/2 a fresh Lime
Garnishes: Fresh Cilantro, Jalapeno Slices, Diced Green Scallion, Lime Wedges
In a Dutch Oven over med high flame, heat the rendered bacon. Add in the onion and saute until just cooked through, 3 – 5 minutes. Add in the cinnamon stick and saute about 1 minute more. Next, add in the ground pork and cook until it just starts to brown, about 5 – 8 minutes, breaking the pork up just a bit into larger chunks. Add in the chili paste, steeped chili water, bell peppers, and stir to combine. Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer on low 2 – 4 hours, or until desired consistency is reached, stirring occasionally. Add in stock or steeped chili water 1/4 cup at a time as needed to keep the chili from reducing too quickly and scorching on the bottom of the pan. At the end of the cooking time, discard the cinnamon stick then squeeze in the juice from 1/2 the lime and stir to combine. Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Turn off the flame and either transfer the chili to a different container and store in the fridge until ready to eat or serve immediately with side of choice. Garnish with fresh cilantro, green scallions, jalapenos, and additional lime wedges.
1 dried Ancho chili pepper
1 dried Guajillo chili pepper
1 dried Chipotle chili pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 cloves Black Garlic
2 tbsp Grapeseed oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a small cast iron skillet over med low flame, toast the cumin seeds about 2 minutes until just fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind into a powder. Set aside.
In the same skillet over med flame, toast each of the chili peppers until warmed enough to release the oils, about 3 to 5 minutes, flipping the peppers occasionally. Transfer the peppers to a mixing bowl and cover with very hot water. (I turn my kettle on and use boiling water to quicken the reconstitution process.) Steep the chili peppers in the hot water until they are soft and pliable. Once the water is cool enough, remove the stems from the chili peppers and discard. Tear open each chili and rinse out all the seeds. Transfer the chili peppers to a food processor. Set steeping liquid aside.
To the food processor add in the remaining ingredients, and puree the chilies until a smooth paste is formed. Add in oil or water, as needed to form the paste to your desired consistency. Transfer the chili paste to a prep bowl and set aside until ready to add it to the chili. It can also be stored in the fridge and used as needed.
For the steeped chili water, strain the steeping liquid through a fine mesh colander or sieve to remove all the seeds and any floating debris. Set the chili water aside and use as needed in the chili.
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 cup Brown Basmati Rice
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
Zest from 1/2 a Lime
1 tab Butter
2 cups Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a fine mesh colander, rinse the rice until it runs clear. Set aside. In a small Dutch Oven or pot with a tight fitting lid, heat the butter over med high flame. Add in the rinsed rice and toast in the butter about 2 minutes. Add in the lime zest and toast 1 minute more. Pour in the water, add the salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with lid and reduce to low flame. Cook until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed, 20 – 25 minutes. Take off the lid, add the chopped cilantro, and fluff the rice with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding in additional cilantro and lime zest as desired. Serve immediately.