Wild Game Mop Sauce

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There are many styles of BBQ across the USA and many more around the world. This particular recipe finds its inspiration from the new season of Chef’s Table on Netflix. The first episode takes you down to Texas Hill Country where the Pitmaster, Tootsie Tomanetz, cooks up some amazing open coal Texas Style BBQ. She only uses salt and pepper as the seasoning base. The amazing flavor of the meat comes from the wood smoke and her signature mop sauce. 

I took some motivation from her methods and decided to cook a whole wild pork leg that I had in the freezer. My first thought is that someone had to cooked this before so I conducted a little Google research. A few keystrokes and clicks later let me to Hank Shaw’s website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook where I found a great article on the preparation of a wild hog shoulder. This very thorough article provided some great insight into the cooking methods I use below. 

Based on Hank’s last paragraph, I choose to add some lard into my mop sauce recipe to help prevent the meat from getting too dry on the smoker. The remainder of the mop sauce recipe is a mixture of traditional Texas mop sauces and my own mind pairing flavors with the wild pork meat. The end result was breathtaking. The meat remained moist throughout the cooking process. The flavour provided by the mop sauce in combination with the wild meat was supreme to any smoked domestic pork I have had to date. I consumed this meat for the next couple of days on everything from tacos to pulled pork with rice and beans. 

Serving Size: 8-10

Time to make: 11-12 hours

Special Equipment: Pellet Smoker or Wood Smoker, Tin Foil, Smoker Safe Pot

Also works with: Venison

Beer/Wine Pairing:  Bock (like Shiner) or IPA

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Ingredients:

1 front quarter of wild pork

Extra salt and black pepper

Mop Sauce

16oz lard or home rendered fat

2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup wild game stock

1 12oz beer

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

½ onion, minced

½ bell pepper, minced

½ cup worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black pepper

½ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ cup brown sugar

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your smoker to 200 degrees
  2. Amply season the pork quarter with salt and black pepper. Return to the fridge until the smoker is preheated. 
  3. Bring a medium cast iron dutch oven or oven safe pot to medium high heat on the stove top.
  4. Melt the lard in the pot and then add the jalapenos, onion, and bell pepper. Allo to cook until the onions are translucent.
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients
  6. Once the smoker is to temp, add the leg to the grill. Using a ladle or mop, coat the top side of the quarter with a serving of mop sauce.
  7. Close the lid and allow the meat to cook for 5 hours. Every hour, mop more sauce, flip the leg, and mop again. I also kept the mop sauce inside of the smoker which I think imparted some extra smoky flavor. 
  8. After 5 hours, place the leg atop some sheets of tin foil. Add one last dose of mop sauce and wrap the leg well. 

Justin Townsend

Justin is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passions for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, on podcasts, in print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard in Key West, FL.

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