After thoroughly enjoying the Grilling Wild Game cooking class at Central Market, I went to the farmer’s market and made a beeline for the game booth. Why, yes, they had boar chops! I bought a pack and went merrily on my way.
These boar chops differed a bit in cut from the ones in the class, but I thought they’d do quite nicely. There were four chops with small bones – nice and thin, and a bit small, which told me that these came from a smaller pig, which is what I’d been told to look for. I rubbed them with sea salt, pepper, oregano and thyme, and fired up the grill.
I need you to understand one thing: in the South, there are two camps – those who use gas to grill, and those who use charcoal to barbeque. I grill with gas. Judge all you like, but I like a quick meal. I won’t justify myself any further than that. So I fired up the grill, and once it was hot I backed off the direct heat. I placed my chops toward the front of my grill – a cooler spot – and cooked first one side, then the other. After about 8 minutes (I didn’t time this, so don’t hold me to it) I used a meat thermometer to check my temperature – 130 degrees, just where our Chef/Teacher had advised.
I removed the chops from the grill and let them set for about 5 minutes while I got the rest of our dinner ready. I’d made the smoky barbeque sauce from class the day before and had reheated it for the chops. With salads and some roasted potatoes, dinner came together fairly quickly! And yum, yum, yum – those boar chops were so tender, so juicy… All I can tell you is that if you haven’t had wild pig, my friends, you should get yourself some!
Smoky Barbeque Sauce
Makes 3-4 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped shallots
6 oz of fresh orange juice
1 can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of blackstrap molasses
1 medium brown beer (I used a Shiner Bock)
16 oz ketchup
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add red and green bell pepper – saute for 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and shallots, saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add about 1 oz of orange juice to deglaze the pan. Add 2-3 of the chipotle peppers to the pan, based on your preference for spiciness. Saute for 3 minutes. Add honey, molasses, the remainder of the orange juice, and half of the beer. Heat through until simmering. Add ketchup, bring back to a simmer, and let cook until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. I used a stick blender to make a smoother sauce – if you don’t have a stick blender, you can chop the chipotles before adding them to the pan, but please take care – these peppers are hot and residual traces on hands can easily get into eyes, etc.
*Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeno peppers, and can be purchased in the “ethnic foods” section of the supermarket or any section specializing in Mexican food. The cans are pretty small and usually hold about 5-6 peppers in a smoky adobo sauce. The sauce is great to add to taco meat or anywhere you’d like a bit of smoky flavor. The peppers vary a bit in heat, but take care when handling.