Cast Iron Wild Boar Chili


Hunting was a way of life for most of the people I grew up around, and mostly it was a means to feed the family high quality proteins that no one could really afford to buy from the grocery. Most of the hunters I knew not only filled up their own freezers every season, but also filled up the freezers of countless others within the community. It was about survival, not sport, and sharing was common practice. I remember trying wild boar as a child when one of my dad’s friends gifted us with a batch of homemade sausages he’d made after a big boar hunt. I thought it was the most fantastically delicious thing I’d ever tasted! Spicy, savory, and bursting with peppery herbs I just couldn’t get enough of it. I was hooked. I would beg until my dad threw several links on his smoker for the two of us to devour.

Today, I do not hunt, nor have I ever hunted (unless fishing counts), but I do often frequent my local butcher shop and pick up the occasional wild game whenever it’s available. If you are new to wild game, boar is an excellent first step, as it is mild in flavor, similar in texture as ground beef, but much leaner without sacrificing any flavor. My favorite recipe for wild boar is chili, but you can utilize it in any recipe that calls for ground beef or pork. It’s delicious so give it a try. The quality is exceptional at Herman’s Quality Meats so if you can stop by your local butcher shop I highly recommend it. Otherwise, you’ll have to go on a wild boar hunt in order to make this recipe.

Ingredients

1 lb ground wild boar

10 oz chili puree or chili seasoning of choice

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

2 sm tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp TexJoy chili powder

2 tbsp cumin powder

6 cloves black garlic

1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds

1 dried chili de arbol, optional

1 tsp grapeseed oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a cast iron skillet over med high flame, add the grapeseed oil and heat until just shimmering. Add in the ground boar and saute until golden brown and just beginning to sear, crumbling it into bite size chunks as you go, for about 8-10 minutes. Add next the chopped green bell pepper and onion and cook a couple minutes longer until the peppers and onions have just softened. Pour in the chili puree, add in the tomatoes, black garlic, toasted cumin seeds, dried arbol chili, if using, and reduce flame to low. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, add in the chili and cumin powder stirring until well incorporated. Simmer an additional 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the flame, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately with your favorite side such as cornbread, polenta, rice, or baked potato.

Wild Boar Chili over Polenta

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