Wings are the perfect addition to any backyard party, but did you know that not all wings are from a chicken? Well, technically. In this Backyard Life video, join Ballistic BBQ host and barbeque aficionado Greg Mrvich as he shares his recipe for BBQ pig wings and cherry brandy glaze, and shows you that pigs really can fly (off your plate).
Making the Cherry Brandy Glaze
Every great wing needs an even better glaze, and Greg’s cherry brandy glaze adds the perfect amount of sweet heat. To kick off this part of the cook he first melts pork lard in a sauce pan over medium-high heat, throwing in minced Jalapeño and stirring it until softened. Greg then lowers the temperature, stirring in the red wine vinegar, mustard, ketchup, paprika, clove, allspice, and mustard seed.
After these ingredients are fully mixed, Greg takes the pot off the heat and slowly adds the brandy. He then places the pot back on the heat, stirring in the cherry preserves, bringing it to a boil, and reducing it until the glaze has the consistency of a BBQ sauce. To top off his glaze, Greg simply adds some salt, to taste.
Preparing The Pig Wings
For this recipe Greg is using pork shanks, the lower leg of the pig, which he says makes for a great eating experience—and allows for a nice presentation. Before the butterflied wings to go grill, however, Greg has some minor cleaning up to do—mainly cutting out the remaining tendons and silverskin.
Once cleaned up, Greg heavily seasons both sides of the wings with an all-purpose BBQ rub that is fairly sweet, with plenty of garlic and herbal flavors. He then puts the wings aside for a minute and fires up the grill to about 250º to 275º F. (For this cook Greg is burning lump charcoal and cherry wood, but he emphasizes that you can use any wood of your choice.)
After about 1 hour and 45 minutes, Greg removes the wings from the grill and places them in foil, spooning 1 tsp. of pork lard on both sides of the wings. Once complete, he tightly wraps the foil and places the wings back on to cook for at least an hour more. To test if the wings are fully cooked, Greg says to poke them with a thermometer or toothpick. If ready, it should feel like pushing the probe into cool butter—and the temperature should read around 190 to 209º F. Once fully cooked, Greg dips the wings into the glaze and places them back on the grill for about 10 minutes, until the glaze is sticky.
Now that you have the know-how to make your own pig wings, all there’s left to do is invite some friends and family over, whip out the grill, and chow down!