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Photos: Panzano's Elise Wiggins breaks down a wild Russian boar

Elise Wiggins of Panzano.
Elise Wiggins of Panzano.
Eric Gruneisen

Executive chef Elise Wiggins of Panzano, our Best Italian Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2012, broke down a 175-pound wild Russian boar from Tender Belly in her restaurant's kitchen on Saturday afternoon. And of course, we wanted to show you where the bacon -- and much of the other meat used in special dishes at Panzano this week -- comes from. Photos below! (Warning: Not for the squeamish, or probably vegetarians.)

All photos by Eric Gruneisen for Westword.

This 175-pound wild boar was slaughtered last Wednesday, then prepped for use by Panzano.
This 175-pound wild boar was slaughtered last Wednesday, then prepped for use by Panzano.
Photos: Panzano's Elise Wiggins breaks down a wild Russian boar
Chef Elise Wiggins holds a portion of the head of the wild boar as she begins to break down the new menu item; 100 percent of the animal will be used, she says. She begins removing the primal sections of the animal first.
Chef Elise Wiggins holds a portion of the head of the wild boar as she begins to break down the new menu item; 100 percent of the animal will be used, she says. She begins removing the primal sections of the animal first.
The head is to the first part to be removed. Wiggins uses a hack saw to do the job.
The head is to the first part to be removed. Wiggins uses a hack saw to do the job.
Meat is removed from the boar's face.
Meat is removed from the boar's face.
Preparing to remove the front quarter.
Preparing to remove the front quarter.

 

Precise cuts are made to remove the front quarter of the wild boar.
Precise cuts are made to remove the front quarter of the wild boar.
Russian Wild Boar-9.jpg

 

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After the removal of the belly, a saw is used to cut the ribs out.
After the removal of the belly, a saw is used to cut the ribs out.
Chef Elise Wiggins holds up the rib cage.
Chef Elise Wiggins holds up the rib cage.

 

Two sections remain: the rear quarter, which is traditionally used for prosciutto, and the top mid-section, where you get the traditional-looking pork chop, in this case called a blade chop.
Two sections remain: the rear quarter, which is traditionally used for prosciutto, and the top mid-section, where you get the traditional-looking pork chop, in this case called a blade chop.
The rear quarter is removed. It's not only used for prosciutto, but also ground down and made into sausage.
The rear quarter is removed. It's not only used for prosciutto, but also ground down and made into sausage.
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Chef Elise Wiggins continues with the breakdown of the middle section of the boar. After it's broken down into chops, she will complete the same process on the second half of the boar.
Chef Elise Wiggins continues with the breakdown of the middle section of the boar. After it's broken down into chops, she will complete the same process on the second half of the boar.
The skin is carefully removed after the boar has been cut into individual chops.
The skin is carefully removed after the boar has been cut into individual chops.

 

Photos: Panzano's Elise Wiggins breaks down a wild Russian boar
Photos: Panzano's Elise Wiggins breaks down a wild Russian boar
Photos: Panzano's Elise Wiggins breaks down a wild Russian boar
Photos: Panzano's Elise Wiggins breaks down a wild Russian boar

Stay tuned: This Friday, Wiggins will get an Ossabaw Island Hog from Tender Belly.

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