Wild Boar Carnitas Tacos with Jicama-Mango Salsa Recipe
Just like traditional carnitas, wild boar carnitas is simply shoulder meat braised in a flavorful liquid until tender enough to shred. Once the cooking liquid reduces, the meat is fried in its own fat until crispy on the outside but still tender on the inside. To complement the meat, I’ve added a fat-cutting spicy salsa of diced jicama, mango, lime, serrano chiles, and cilantro. Serve the carnitas on hot corn or flour tortillas with the salsa for a new twist on the taco-truck standard.
What to buy: You can find wild boar meat at gourmet grocers or online (scroll down).
Special equipment: You’ll need cheesecloth and butcher’s twine for this recipe.
Game plan: Unlike domestic pigs, wild boars are covered with a thick, short, bristly coat. Make sure to remove any errant hairs that may be stuck to the meat before cooking it.
This recipe was featured as part of our Game Meat Recipes for the Big Game.
For the carnitas:
- 5 fresh (5-inch) marjoram sprigs
- 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 1 1/2 medium white onions, peeled and quartered through the root end
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 5 pounds boneless wild boar shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes (do not trim the fat)
For the salsa:
- 2 cups small-dice jicama
- 2 cups small-dice mango (from about 2 medium mangoes)
- 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes)
- 2 serrano chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Lime wedges
- Place the marjoram, garlic, coriander, and bay leaves in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie it tightly with butcher’s twine. Place the bundle in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot along with the onions and salt. Arrange the boar in 2 layers and add enough water to just cover the meat. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Using a large spoon, skim and discard any foam that floats to the surface. Simmer uncovered, skimming the surface and turning the boar pieces occasionally, until the meat is tender and just beginning to shred apart, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. (You may need to adjust the heat to medium low to keep it at a simmer.) Meanwhile, make the salsa.
For the salsa:
- Place all of the measured ingredients in a medium bowl, season with salt, and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When the meat is ready, remove and discard the herb bundle and onion quarters. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the remaining water has evaporated and just the rendered fat is coating the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let the meat fry in the fat, turning occasionally, until browned all over and starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard any large pieces of unrendered fat.
- Serve the carnitas in the tortillas, topped with the salsa, with the lime wedges on the side.