How to cook Javelinas!

Have you ever seen a Javelinas? Know what a Javelinas is, or even cooked a Javelinas? For most of us the answer is No.

Looking at the pictures ( thank you Texas A and M) they look similar to pigs, or wild boar. They aren’t ,they are peccaries, which are distantly related to Hippos!

Javelinas are found in central and South America and also in parts of the southern USA. In Texas, where they have a problem with wild hogs and as such hunters cull them but often mistake the Javelinas as wild hogs. Rumour has it ( and according to himself,) Javelinas stink ! There is a sweat gland along their backs, which is all part of the territory marking process!

Wild boar and therefore Feral Pigs need marinating and long slow cooking. Maybe this is where a Sous Vide machine will come in useful. ( have not tried it ).In the USA it is impossible to buy any Wild Game, unless it is USDA approved, which of course as it is wild, is impossible! However, it is possible to get any game from friends who hunt!

I have cooked game in Europe, where of course when the Game season is on it is very easy to buy, even from stores such as Costco!

One of the best recipes for cooking wild boar is Elizabeth David, how to cook pork like wild boar, and this I have done many times.But onwards to Javelinas! Javelinas eat whatever is going, after all when you live in the desert, what choice do you have. Their favourite is Prickly Pear and apparently the spikes on the Prickly pear does not bother them at all! They just eat it as it is! In Mexico where the Prickly Pear is know as Nopales, the prickles are removed before buying, and yes they can be bought in the local market! Whilst on many of our Mexican trips we did indeed try Nopales , and I have to say, did not think they had too much to offer!

I have read several accounts on how delicious roasted Javelinas can be, but on the other hand I have read even more on how disgusting it is. But, if it is the only food available, then it will become edible and presumably could be described as delicious. One can assume, that the native Americans who ate Nopales, would also have eaten Javelinas, but I have to say that during our stay in Arizona and the American southwest it was not on offer on any of the local restaurants that we visited!

We went on a tour of Sedona, a beautiful location, about halfway between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. This is very much into Native American country, amazing rock formation and definite signs of earlier civilisation including wall art and ruins.

Whilst in this tour, Ed from Kentucky, who was a great guide and very entertaining, told us of the ultimate method of cooking Javelinas and so here it is!

First capture the Javalina, obviously kill it, and by this time you will be pretty stinky! Skin the animal and gut it. Take a whole load of assorted fruits, apples, oranges, lemons and limes, Chop, and stuff The Javalina with the fruit.

Take an old Hessian sack and soak it in red wine, until thoroughly soaked. Wrap the stuffed Javalina in the sacking and soak the whole lot in more red wine! Leave for 24-48hours, the longer the better! When ready to cook and eat, unwrap the Javalina, throw away the fruit. Throw away the the Javalina and eat the sacking as rumour has it, it will taste better and be more nutritious than the Javalina !!

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