Eliminate Pork's Gamey Taste With A Vinegar Soak

If you've ever dabbled in preparing wild game meat (or even just looked up how to do it), you've probably come across people talking about the "gamey" taste that wild meat can have. It's a flavor you have to taste for yourself to fully understand, but to put it simply, it's a strong, musky, sour taste that sets wild meat apart from store-bought.

This gamey flavor can be particularly pronounced when it comes to wild pork, such as boars or hogs. This is primarily attributed to the difference in their diets. Wild boars and hogs freely roam and forage for their foods, so their diets are very diverse. The diversity of their diet is reflected in the smell, texture, shade, and taste of their meat. In contrast, farm-raised pigs are usually fed a consistent diet of industry-standard processed feed, resulting in a milder, more consistent taste throughout the year.

If you find the wild flavor too overwhelming, you can take the off-taste away by giving the meat a vinegar bath! Simply mix 1 cup of vinegar with enough cold water to fully submerge the pork (1 cup per quart,) then let it soak overnight in the refrigerator. As the meat soaks, the acidity of the vinegar will re-develop the flavor and tenderize it. The result is a more balanced, tender wild pork cut that'll improve your dining experience by leaps and bounds!

What type of vinegar would work as a wild pork soak?

Vinegar is able to remove the gamey taste from meat, all thanks to its lactic acid content. According to the Journal of Meat Science, when meat is soaked in an acidic substance like vinegar, the acid interacts with it, enhancing the flavor.

Because the crucial ingredient here is lactic acid, and all types of vinegar have it, you can essentially use any vinegar as a soak! However, when dealing with red meat that might have a strong taste due to blood (especially in wild pork), it's a good idea to use a strong vinegar. Distilled white vinegar, balsamic, apple cider, or red wine vinegar are all excellent choices and are quite popular for making red meat marinades.

On the other hand, milder vinegar, like white wine vinegar, may struggle to cover up the iron-like and gamey flavors of the blood. So, unless you have no other option, it'll be a good idea to avoid them.