This is a really simple, pure expression of pork. I ordered some front and rear quarters and shoulders from pastured free roaming pigs raised at Slankers in Texas, and today prepared the rear quarter for some friends. Read the description of their pork on the site – apparently wild pigs from the area will sometimes just join up with their free roaming herds. Nice.
Anyway, the idea was simple. How does one showcase such a treasure without obfuscating the core experience? My approach was to cook is slowly and delicately with only the simplest of accoutrements.
I rubbed it the night before with equal parts salt, pepper, and brown sugar. In the morning I shook it off and wrapped it in aluminum foil, then stuck it in the Green Egg at 275 for 4 hours. I had just a couple chunks of mesquite in with the charcoal – I didn’t want the smoke to take over.
After 4 hours, I poured about 1/2c of olive oil mixed with 4 cloves of minced garlic, juice of 1 lemon, and a dash of salt over the roast and re-closed the aluminum foil and continued cooking.
An hour later, we have what you see above. The meat is falling off the bone tender and the lemon and garlic still have some of their brightness left, but have mellowed over the course of that hour to compliment the meat nicely. Wild pigs taste noticeably different than their commercially raised peers. It’s actually more like red meat – heartier and a bigger mouth-feel, coupled with a bit less, but more flavorful fat.
The guests arrive in a couple hours, and I can’t wait to get their take on it – especially in combination with the sous vide shoulder that I’m also serving. More on that later.