Sous Vide Wild Boar Spareribs 3 Ways : Smoked, Fried, Braised

Feral pigs are smaller and leaner than domesticated ones. "St. Louis" cut pork spareribs typically weigh at least 3lbs/1.5Kg. The boar spare ribs weighed a meager 22oz./.65Kg--about 2 servings each. The flavor is mild, with the faintest hint of range/game in the background. We sous vide processed using the same time/temperature formula we use for pork.


Wild boar spareribs: 2 racks, about 44oz/1.3Kg

Corn/Onion Flan
Corn,one ear, cob removed and discarded.
Onion, .5 each.
Egg yolks, 4 ea.
Cream, 2 oz./60ml.

Onion Rings
Onion, 1 each.
Flour, 2 cups/300g.
Eggs, 3 each.
Bread crumbs, fine, 4 cups/600g.

Shredded lettuce, 2oz/60g
Tomato, one each

Coating for Ribs:
Egg white
, 1 each
Fennel seed, 1 Tbsp.
Chervil, 1 Tbsp.
Oregano, 1 Tbsp.

Bao Dough (Chinese Steamed Bun):

⅔ cup 110F/43C water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons non fat dry milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1¼ cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Water, 1 cup/225ml.
Cornmeal, .25 cup/50g.,

Pate a Choux:
Flour, .25 cup/30g.
Water, 1/4 cup/60ml.
Butter, a tiny piece.
Egg, 1 ea.
Egg yolk, 1 ea.

Lime marmalade/gastrique:
3 limes, approx. 6ox/90g.
Vinegar, 1 cup/225ml.
Sugar, 1.5 cup/350ml.
Water, .5 cup/120ml.

4 stalks celery and 1 carrot @

Extra virgin olive oil, 1.5 oz./50ml.
Lemon Juice, 1 oz./30ml.
Chopped parsley.
S+P to taste
Black Lava salt to garnish (optional).

flour, 1 cup/150g.
Eggs, 2 ea.
Milk, .25 cup/60ml.
Salt, pinch.

Celery gratin:
Celery, 4 stalks, processed sous vide @
183F/84Cx1 hour. Shock cold.
Heavy cream, .5 cup/110ml.
Butter, 10z./30g.
S+P, to taste.
Cheddar cheese (or your preference), 2 oz./60g, grated.

Sous vide process the Boar Ribs
@140F/60CX18 hours.Shock cold to 70F/21C in ice water.
Refrigerate to 40F/4C before continuing.

Hot Smoked Boneless Spare Ribs
Steamed Asian Flatbread,
Onion Complements

Lay the processed boar ribs on a flat surface, and remove the bones. They will “almost” come out by pulling with the fingers. I used a paring knife to follow along while I tugged. Use the bones to begin a simple stock, which will be used in Recipe#3.

Sprinkle the meat with S+P. I put a little dried parsley in there, too, as is my custom.
Coat the meat with
one egg white,
and then sprinkle with
Fennel seed,
Chervil, and

The egg white will secure the herbs to the surface of the meat.

Load the spareribs into a Lipavi rack, and secure so that they stand up.

Hot smoke @

180F/82Cx4 hours

While the ribs are roasting/smoking…



Combine all ingredients in Kitchenaid type mixer (or by hand). Knead until smooth and elastic. Let rest for five minutes. Divide in half, form into balls, and press out with your fingertips (or roll) like a small pizza. Sprinkle a few drops of oil (or spray with Pam), fold in half, and rest for five minutes. Steam in a covered pot ABOVE boiling water for 15 minutes. I use a special collapsing screen, but bamboo steamers are great, anything that will fit in the pan, hold the dough above water, and still allow the lid.

Onion Rings:
sous vide onion, processed @

183F/84Cx1 hour,

shock cold. Slice thick, save the smaller rings for the flan.
sous vide onion ringsDip the large outer rings in
flour first,
then egg,
then crumbs,
For a complete explanation, click HERE.
Or, buy frozen ones!

Corn/Onion flan:

LINK to Sous vide corn on the cob,
one ear, cob removed and discarded.
Use the smaller onion rings from the procedure above.
Egg yolks, 4 ea.
Cream, 2 oz./60ml.
Blend all ingredients, and STRAIN.

Push the mixture through the screen, and you will leave behind a lot of hulls. This is important.
Pour the mixture into soufflé cups or any heat proof dish, and bake @ 225F/110C
until slightly puffed, 165F/74C internal. Some chefs like to do this in a bath of water half way up the sides, to prevent overcooking. After baking, the flan is torched, as shown below.

Deep fry the onions, I stacked on the plate on top of a little
Shredded lettuce, and
Tomato wedge, but only because I had them around. You can’t even really see them!
Place the torched onion flan on the plate, cut the boneless ribs into strips, toss with Dark Side BBQ Sauce, recipe HERE, as needed. Open the bao and put some pork in!


Crispy Fried Boneless Boar ribs, Lime Marmalade Glaze
Ribbon Salad, Cornmeal Beignets.


Remove the bones from the spare ribs as described in Recipe#1. Add the bones to the stock that we started in the first recipe, or start a simple stock with the bones now. Scraps from the celery and carrots can also go in it.
The stock will be used in Recipe#3, or saved for future use. There is a lot of flavor in the bones, even after sous vide processing.
Sprinkle the ribs with S+P, but skip the egg white application, and merely dust the boneless ribs lightly in flour. Set aside to rest.

Cornmeal Beignets:
Bring to boil:
Water, 1 cup/225ml.
drizzle in while stirring:
Cornmeal, .25 cup/50g.,
stir until thickened, simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside, and make
Pate a Choux: See slide below for procedure.
Flour, .25 cup/30g.
Water, 1/4 cup/60ml.
Butter, a tiny piece.
Egg, 1 ea.
Egg yolk, 1 ea.

sous vide pate a choux

Add the cooked cornmeal to the pate a choux and mix. This will form a batter. Use a spoon or small disher to deep fry small balls of the batter
until they are evenly browned. If the oil is deep enough, they will flip themselves! Drain on paper towels and reserve or keep in a warming oven @170F/77C.

Lime marmalade/gastrique:
3 limes, approx. 6ox/90g.
Vinegar, 1 cup/225ml.
Sugar, 1.5 cup/350ml.
Water, .5 cup/120ml.

Blend the limes until smooth, add the vinegar, and blend again.

Set the lime mixture aside.
Combine the sugar and the water in a pan. Bring to a boil on medium high, and slowly shift the pan back and forth instead of stirring.

DO NOT STIR WITH ANY IMPLEMENT. This will cause hard crystals to form.
You will see that the bubbles get larger and larger, and then the reduced sugars will begin to caramelize. Turn off the heat at this time.
With the blender running, SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY pour the caramel in to the lime mixture.
You can also add the lime mixture to the caramel. HOWEVER, this causes a dangerous, steamy and explosive  effect–make sure your pan has high sides, unlike the pan in the picture below.

Return the mixture to the pan, and simmer/reduce slowly until it darkens. Strain it, and it should look like this: It is difficult to get it this dark without burning it; I have a lot of practice. As long as it is thick and sticky, you are golden!

Sous Vide Ribbon Salad:

Sous vide process 4 stalks celery and 1 carrot @
183F/84Cx1 hour.
Shock cold in ice water and refrigerate.
Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrot into ribbons, as shown.

sous vide carrot ribbon slaw

Cut the celery the same way.

sous vide celery

Toss the ribbons with:
Extra virgin olive oil, 1.5 oz./50ml.
Lemon Juice, 1 oz./30ml.
Chopped parsley.
S+P to taste, set aside or refrigerate.
Black Lava salt to garnish (optional).


Cut the boar spare ribs in half.
Heat vegetable oil or shortening in a pan to

Carefully lay the spare rib section in the oil as shown. Fry until crisp, turn over, and repeat. I left one bone in just to see what it would do!

Remove the meat from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Combine and heat:
Lime marmalade, 2 oz./60ml, with
Cold butter, 1 oz./30g.
Paint or drizzle this glaze on the ribs, and cut them into strips.


Stand up some ribbon salad on the center of the plate.

Stand two of the beignets next to the salad, and drizzle with the marmalade. Sprinkle with Black Lava Salt (optional).

Make a little tower of the ribs, the marmalade will help them to stick together. Tie a little knot with a carrot and put it on top for decoration, and you get this:

and up close:


Braised Spare Ribs, Spaetzle,
Celery Gratin, Tamarind Butter

Cut the ribs in half (do not remove the bones). Sprinkle with S+P, and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.

flour, 1 cup/150g.
Eggs, 2 ea.
Milk, .25 cup/60ml.
Salt, pinch.
By hand or in mixer, combine ingredients to a smooth batter.
Drizzle, or squeeze through a ricer or slotted spoon, etc. into boiling water. Remove noodles a few seconds after they float, shock in cold water. Drain, reserve. Saute in butter until slightly brown at service.

Celery gratin:
Celery, 4 stalks, processed sous vide @
183F/84Cx1 hour. Shock cold.
Heavy cream, .5 cup/110ml.
Butter, 10z./30g.
S+P, to taste.
Cheddar cheese (or your preference), 2 oz./60g, grated.
Cut celery into uniform bite sized pieces.

Cream, butter, and S+P in pan. Bring to simmer. As it emulsifies, it will thicken slightly.
Add the celery, return to simmer.
Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese. Do not cook after this point.
Use a slotted spoon to put the celery on the plate, and excess cream will be left behind.
Use a propane torch or the salamander in your oven to slightly brown the top.


Brown the rib sections in a small amount of oil on medium heat, approx.
275F/135F. This process should take about 5 minutes. Turn the meat, and add

Pork Stock (or water), 2 cups/450ml.

Cover loosely, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pan, and reduce the juices to
Add to juices:
Dark Side Sauce, 1/2 cup/120ml. If this is not available, anything from generic steak sauce to ketchup will serve. add:
Butter, cold, 4 0z./120g.

Melt the butter in the sauce, but do not let it actually boil. If you stir the sauce gently in one direction, it should incorporate the butter into a smooth emulsion. If this does not work, put the sauce in a 16 oz. rocks glass, let the ingredients settle, and use a stick blender to create the emulsion, as explained HERE

Saute and arrange the Spaetzle on one side of a plate, and the celery on the other. Torch the celery gratin, cut the rib section in half again, place on top in the middle, and pour a generous amount of the butter over it:

Instead of chopping, I sliced some Italian parsley and sprinkled it over the top.

All three of these dishes are terrific, but I offer them more as idea generators than actual “engraved in stone” recipes. Jacques Pepin offers some wonderful commentary on the danger of attempting to follow a recipe too closely, click HERE for the link.

Mr. Pepin is absolutely correct in describing recipes as but moments in time, never to be exactly repeated. We struggle against this, but it is better to embrace it.

Stay tuned for upcoming treatments of a variety of SV enhanced recipes. The possibilities are endless!














Not only are feral swine smaller and leaner than domesticated pigs, they are considerably MORE ATHLETIC. Video depictions of Javelinas and African varieties show them to be quite capable of giving predators a discouraging serpentine chase. With the characteristic tusks in evidence, they are equally capable of defending themselves. This belies their image as sedentary, bloated barnyard animals. My understanding is that farmed pigs released "into the wild" take on the leaner, meaner characteristics in a matter of months.

Some people express concern over the risk of exposure to Trichinella, a parasitic worm that has been known to inhabit pigs. All pigs are vulnerable to this parasite, but modern sanitation has lowered the risk to almost nil. There has not been an incident of trichinosis from American commercial pork in over 80 years. Freezing alone is enough to kill Trichinella, and all commercial pork is routinely frozen immediately upon slaughter, as are the feral pigs.

As you can see on the label below, the wild boar has been USDA inspected. Sous vide pasteurization time/temperature models are designed to kill Salmonella. Why is that? Because Salmonella is the hardiest of all pathogens--much hardier than trichinosis, hardier than E.coli, hardier than all the pathogenic organisms. All other pathogens are destroyed BEFORE salmonella, so there is no need to sous vide process wild boar any differently than pork or any other meat.

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