Wild Boar Ribs: Racking Up The Flavor
There I was, hunkered down in the bush, long gun at the ready. No…No I wasn’t. I was actually crouched down behind a line of trees, facing upwind, staring intently at my hand-dug pit-style trap carefully covered with banana leaves, waiting for a wild boar to come rambling along and step onto the false floor and fall into the pit below. Actually, if you can believe it, that’s not true either, but what was true was that the tightly sealed, thickly made styrofoam box sitting in front of me was kinda hard to open, and that’s where the real story begins. It was one of those really thick-walled, heavily taped, ice-packed boxes that immediately alerted me to the fact that the contents were either a mistakenly delivered body part or something edible. I hoped for the latter but was still surprised to pull out a fresh rack of wild boar ribs from Broken Arrow Ranch, gifted to me from a reliable and trusted meat source, my daughter ???.
After a lot of research, because, you know, I didn’t want to mess this up, it was concluded that yes, I can prep these just like regular ribs, keeping in mind that they are less fatty. Seems easy enough, so I went with my go-to method of rubbing the rack down with mustard and then massaging in a generous helping of Carolina Pit Powder, courtesy of bbq guru, Steven Raichlen.
Always in favor of firing up the smoker, I leveled it off in the 220° to 225° range using lump hardwood, cherrywood, and applewood. Yeah, my backyard can smell delicious at times ?. Armed with a spray bottle filled with equal parts apple juice and water and then 1/4 part apple cider vinegar for spritzing, I was off to the smoker to try and tame these wild boar ribs.
One quick last-minute misting and these beauties were laid onto the smoker rack with a cloud of smokey fanfare, building my anticipation for a good meal along with an increased capacity for spontaneous drooling.
I left them unsupervised inside of the smoker for about an hour and a half. After taking them out, I decided to wrap the ribs in foil for a bit to keep moisture in and reduce the chance of these lean boar ribs drying out. In the foil were a couple of pads of butter and a slathering of Missouri’s own Sticky Pig Mustard Sauce, delicious on just about anything you can drip it, brush it or glaze it on. Pretty good right off of the spoon as well… Anyway, the ribs were wrapped and put back into the smoker for about another hour and a half.
Now we’re talking. The bones are starting to come through as the meat pulls back. You can feel the rack becoming more tender, and the thicker part of the chop registered close to 180°, so the ribs were taken out of the foil and put back into the smoker to finish and glaze over. I’m looking for 195° or so, when it’s time for this little piggy to come home.
I’m gonna tell you something. I’ve tasted some really good ribs and some great barbecue pork in general, but these wild boar ribs are no ordinary pork dish. The texture was so decadent and delicious, it almost melted in your mouth. It was something more akin to a lamb chop or beef rib and had a deep, rich and satisfying flavor profile that no regular pork rib can achieve.
These are a keeper and welcome on my smoker any day. It’s one of those fantastic meals that make you scoot your chair back, give a sigh of thanks, and wait for the nap to begin. So thanks to our daughter for once again providing us a unique barbecuing and taste experience.