Are You Game For A Boar Of A Tale? - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at - 242522

The Sensibly Organic Cook

Are you game for a boar of a tale? 
Jul. 7, 2011 1:10 pm 
Updated: Jul. 11, 2011 3:45 pm
As some of you know, my guys plus one went on an out of state hunting trip last month. I was excited to have the weekend to myself so I was talking about them being gone. When I told you what they were going to hunt some expressed curiosity about it so I thought I’d share the results of that trip. For those that have asked about Pippin, he has posted another blog if you’d like to drop in and check out his adventures-<   Also, if anyone's plans have changed and they are interested in the upcoming roundup I'm having here,< that's the blog if you'd like to read it and the email address is in it if you are interested.

My DH, Jeff, and his BF, Al, have talked about going elk hunting in Colorado for years. They both have hunted deer for years but wanted to go after something bigger. Either their jobs, lack of time or money kept them from doing anymore than talking about a big out of state game hunt. Then early last year my DH started researching the possibilities again. Plus, he thought it would be cool for his son to be able to go with them now that he was old enough. So each Sunday he’d share what he had found with Al. See, depending on the season Al comes up every Sunday to watch either the football game or NASCAR. I fix a big lunch for them too cause Al always seems to help the DH with one project or another. Usually it is a major project like cutting wood for the winter so I feel it is only fair I keep Al well fed.

After much consideration they decided to turn their sights on smaller game. Wild pig. Oklahoma is also a little closer to home than Colorado. Since I did not opt to go with the guys on their trip, I’m relying on their version of events and pictures they took for most of my information. I can, however, reliably share what I’ve learned about cooking wild pig.

If you do any scanning of the TV listings you might have noticed “reality” shows about the damage wild pigs are doing in various states, what is being done to round up these destructive creatures and what happens to them after capture. The ranch the guys hunted on buy captured wild pigs from Texas. When asked, the people at the ranch said those reality shows are a bunch of nonsense and the pigs are live trapped then shipped to places like theirs.

Here’s the first picture the guys were excited about showing me.

Goes to show what they were interested in. Yep, I’m afraid my requests for scenery pictures fell upon deaf ears and, yes, that is the family truck for the owners of the ranch. When the guys told me how cool the place was inside and I asked if they took a photo of it, I got a blank look. Deep sigh. So the best I could do with that is include the website just in case anyone wanted to see other shots.

I really did not know how the hunt was to be conducted but I was told everyone was guaranteed a pig. I know my guys when they hunt deer here in Missouri sit out on frosty mornings in carefully constructed and concealed deer stands for hours. Usually only to come home wanting a hearty brunch with a “Nope, didn’t see a thing”. It never fails to amaze me how thundering herds of deer can simply vanish when it is hunting season. Same with those turkeys. I can hear them gobble around here every morning till opening day. I’ve even scared them out of the front yard but I have yet to cook a wild one.

Evidently it is no surprise where the wild pigs are. The ranch is well fenced since it is against the law to let any of these creatures back into the wild. This is also a working ranch so the wild pigs are fed and receive veterinary care to keep any diseases from infecting the domestic livestock.

These shots are taking from the stands the guys were in. For those that feel this type of hunting isn’t sporting enough, I’m not sure if the guys knew how little hunting skill they would need to get their pig. As with any game they have harvested over the years we do eat it. That’s one of our rules. You only shoot another creature if you intend to eat it or to keep it from killing you. However, I do think living out in the wild receiving food and care is better than being in an overcrowded feed lot. Also if it were up to me to shoot meat for our table, I can guarantee our menu would be vegetable heavy with some fish every so often.

WARNING!!! Hunting pictures.

The next pictures are my two guys with their pigs. Jeff got a boar and Ryan got a sow. Al got one of each but somehow I didn't get pictures of his or him.

Now on to what I learned first hand about wild pig. After going to a meat locker that would process the meat, we ended up with this size cooler full. In it we had ground pork, 2 smoked hams, spare ribs and boneless pork chops.
Before the meat went to St. Joe, I took a bit of it just to see what it would taste like. I fried it in a skillet. The flavor is much stronger than domestic pork. Since I did nothing else to the meat it was tough. I generally like any game and have never had a problem with a gamey flavor. My sister SWEARS she can tell venison jerky from beef because of the gamey flavor. Hmmm, wonder if that’s like the great beet and cilantro debate? Either you like it or you don’t!

I was rather concerned that all the meat except for the ground would be much tougher than my DH was used to. I believe I was right. When the pork came back, I decided to try tenderizing and marinating some chops for the grill. Again we both liked the flavor, not quite shoe leather was the consistency. Now, Al did the same thing and left his overnight and claimed a successful grilling came out of it. After having fixed lunch for him for almost 20 years, I know Al is not near as picky as my DH either. So my next attempt at the chops was the pressure cooker. I love that thing now that I am no longer afraid of it! I put my own dry rub on the chops, browned them in the PC and added ½ c water and 1 c white wine. Cooked for 40 minutes under 10 lbs of pressure. Much better
with an excellent flavor. I do think I could have gone even longer with the cooking time and if anyone reading this has more experience with the PC and game, please share your knowledge. I’m guessing the other cuts will have the same type of toughness. Something my DH doesn’t understand at all. He figures one pig, domestic vs. wild should be like the other. Uh huh. I’m guessing a crock pot or a LONG slow cook on the hams. I’m not quite sure the best method for the ribs. Something long and slow I’m sure.
I did have great success with the ground pork. We grilled hamburgers over the 4th and we all liked them. The jerky was AWESOME! The spice mix pictured earlier on the right was just so so. I added more spices to it because it seemed rather bland. The one from Cabela’s was purchased later so we can make more jerky. I guess! I barely had enough jerky hidden to take the photo. The jerky on the right was made with the “Hi Mountain”. Now if you are wondering why there is asparagus on the plate, they guys brought that back from the ranch. Someone had left it down after their hunt and the owners told the guys they could have it. Given they can barely eat anything green, my DH said, “I bet my wife would like that is it all right if I take it for her?” It’s pickled with some kind of hot pepper. Can anyone identify it? I don’t grow that type and am not sure. I’d also like to have a pickled asparagus recipe too. Man that stuff is good! Almost too hot for me. I’d go with jalapeno peppers I think. Now for the jerky on the left, I used a mix that I had from previous years but I decided to add some of the spicy vinegar from the asparagus to it. YUM! That came out so good!
Overall per pound, I’m sure the wild pig cost quite a bit. I’m not even going to bother trying to figure that out because the guys had such a good time and really liked the ranch. One other old friend was supposed to go on this trip but couldn’t due to his health. What a shame. Ryan is going into the Navy in Oct. so who knows when or if he will ever hunt with his father or Al again. I swear everyone needs a friend like Al. He is like a brother to Jeff so I’m glad they finally got to go on their hunting trip out of state. Jeff is still laid off so it is a good thing he had put aside money to go. It was a trip that was well worth taking. Maybe not so much for the pig but for the three of them to have a weekend to remember for always.
Jul. 7, 2011 4:06 pm
Very interesting blog Cat Hill, nice that the guys were able to go hunting. It must have been a very special get away, especially with your son entering the Navy, you must be so proud of him....I read Pippin's blog, and I must say he is quite the clever storyteller, I enjoyed reading about his adventures....Thank goodness he didn't start a fire, but how clever is he? Pippin is extremely fortunate to have you MC, you have provided him with some wonderful alternate safe play areas. Thank God he is adjusting, sounds like he loves an adventure anytime!
Jul. 7, 2011 4:39 pm
Pulled pork seems to be the most favored recipe for wild swine. Followed by ground pork/sausage. I have had it tough and tender and nobody has been able to explain why. Sure wish I had some recipes for you but qhenever I had wild pig it was always prepared for me. ... I had a neighbor that pickled her asparagus using a "Dilly Beans" recipe very similar to this one. ... beet and cilantro debate? Hmph! ... I'll be posting my spice blend in a few days. See what you think.
Jul. 7, 2011 4:48 pm
Janet, that cat is giving me white hair. He is fearless! If you saw the cooktop you'd know how surprised I was to find it on. I guess I should have mentioned his tailfeathers weren't singed! LOL! Yes, I have plenty of smoke detectors still... I am glad they all got to take the trip and they enjoyed their time together. I am proud of Ryan, he at least has a goal and is going for it. More than I can say I did at his age. Glad you liked the stories :)(:
Jul. 7, 2011 4:56 pm
Mr. Harvey, I did think of you right off the bat when wondering who could give me a pickled asparagus recipe. After all your pickled pumpkin recipe is much loved around here now. Do you happen to recognize that pepper? She's a scorcher. So with the tough and tender aspects of the wild pig there is no rhyme or reason? I tell you that pressure cooker really did the trick the other night. Hope someone can stop in with recipes or ideas. The jerky I got covered! Hey if you knew my sister...she used to hate chocolate too. Deep sigh! I've still got lots of weeds to pull but I will try and get up earlier cause I do want to see your spice blend recipes!
Jul. 7, 2011 5:13 pm
That pepper, if it is a flattened round one, it is likely a cherry pepper. If it is a curled up long pepper, it is likely a ripened Jalapeno. The peppers have a similar flavor. When we made the neighbors beans recipe, we added green Cayennes for some fun. When a guest would take the beans they might not realize they had a Cayenne and ... Yeah. I'm mean. But only to those I like!
Jul. 7, 2011 6:12 pm
I wish I was more adventurous in the kitchen! I wouldn't even know where to begin with boar! Looks like the guys had a great time and I am sure you enjoyed some "ME" time, too! ;)
Jul. 7, 2011 6:18 pm
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Pippin's blog! What a character he is! That human he owns is a pretty neat gal herself! What a comeback he has made! Give him a loving ear rub for me, will ya?
Jul. 7, 2011 6:42 pm
I have not had any experience with wild game - I wish you luck and pass on your knowledge to us. Good luck Cat.
Jul. 7, 2011 7:31 pm
Mike, I've got most of the hot peppers covered since I grow them but not the seriously hot. I was thinking Scotch bonnet or Habenaro. These spears leave a serious after burn. Again like the pumpkin I would never have thought of pickling asparagus. I haven't checked your recipe suggestion but can you use another vinegar besides distilled white? I'm guessing turmeric was used to keep the green but I would swear the vinegar has a mellower flavor.
Jul. 7, 2011 7:38 pm
WFDM?, I goofed off instead of doing the gardening stuff like I was supposed to. I did fun project stuff. Didn't you call me fearless in the kitchen once? LOL!!! Well, you know, you gotta work with what you got! I'm glad you liked Pip's blog. The little stinker was hiding in the teen's room again but I'm getting wise to his ploys. Pip's spending his nights far away from the cooktop now! Other than that he is doing quite well :)(:
Jul. 7, 2011 7:49 pm
Baking Nana, I had to laugh when I posted this blog today and saw your's. I'm trying to cook wild and you made awesome looking domestic. I think I need more than luck. LOL! It does have a good flavor though. At least the jerky and the asparagus worked out great! Here's hoping some other posters know more than me and can share. Hey, just PC (the cooker) knowledge would be great :)
Jul. 7, 2011 10:04 pm
My son is a hunting guide in S Calif. They have a LOT of feral russian boars there, and they tear things up BIG time! It's amazing to wake up and find your entire lawn has disappeared. overnight! LOL We used to cook a lot of wild pig. Its much sweeter and leaner than domestic pork. You almost can't hurt it. Deep pit is always good too!
Jul. 8, 2011 2:30 am
Interesting story about the hunting trip, although my guys are not hunters! Years ago,I tried to make pickled hot tomatoes. With no recipe to serve as a guide, I really ruined them! The hot asparagus looks fantastic!
Jul. 8, 2011 3:59 am
Very nice blog! My "boys" (hubby & son) are big hunters - though mostly waterfowl. I eat lots of Canada goose and ducks. They also hunt deer and turkey. My son wants to go out west and hunt antelope and also hunt bear, boar.... My son would also love that truck! Isn't it funny how guys don't see the scenery??!!
Jul. 8, 2011 4:02 am
Glad Ryan was able to go on this trip with his Dad and Alan. Nice "guy thing" for them to do before he goes in this fall. No hunters in our family, so I've never had to deal with kind of stuff.
Jul. 8, 2011 4:57 am
petey, the pork is definitely lean but so far tough unless ground or pressure cooked. I wouldn't call the flavor sweeter but I do like it. the people at the ranch told the guys we they pit BBQ them for groups they get the smaller pigs. From what I gather since the pigs multiply like crazy and then root till there is nothing left, they are absolutely ruining the land. I guess we have developed a problem here in our area too cause there is no limit on shooting them. Any recipes you can share? :)
Jul. 8, 2011 5:02 am
sueb, that asparagus is awesome! I will research the recipes for next year to make some. Mike Harvey has one recipe for me to look at so I have a start :) Remind me and I will send a recipe for pickled tomatoes to you. It's really easy and goes well with steak! Hmm I wonder how well okra would pickle like the asparagus? :)
Jul. 8, 2011 5:07 am
Mother Ann, LOL! I specifically asked for lots of photos so I could see what it was like down there. Deep sigh! LOL! I tried. There must have been 10 views of that truck. Waterfowl I have never cooked and probably would need an experienced cook like yourself helping. The deer I've got covered :) The guys really wanted to go West to hunt elk too but that just didn't work out for them so I am glad they got this trip. Maybe by the time your son brings you home a boar I will have some TNT wild pig recipes LOL! Glad you liked the blog!
Jul. 8, 2011 5:10 am
Magnolia Blossom, you do have a fisherman though, or is it just the drowning of the worms thing? :) It was nice guy time for them. DH wants to serve boar sliders when you ladies come for the roundup. We'll see. LOL!
Jul. 8, 2011 9:16 am
When I pickle, I always use apple cider vinegar. I use distilled only when color is more important than taste- and to wash windows and clean the coffee maker.
Jul. 8, 2011 1:29 pm
I've spent the last two days canning and came across a couple of pickled asparagus recipes here on AR. I searched "canning" and up they popped. So, my next question is if there's wild boar on the menu for the roundup??? I had to laugh at the DH and his aversion to green things. I canned some 'mock' black cherry jam this morning-it's mock because it's made with black cherry jello, sugar, lemon juice, and shredded zuccini. Hubby loves black cherry, but is not a zuccini fan. Needless to say, he doesn't know about the "secret" ingredient in the jam. We'll see how my evil little plan works out in a day or too:)
Jul. 8, 2011 1:30 pm
And, of course, I meant "two" not "too".
Jul. 8, 2011 4:00 pm
Well, thank you, Mike I wondered why the flavor was more subtle. Well, except for the killer heat. I was always told to use the distilled white, boy does it have a tang! Now, I know!
Jul. 8, 2011 4:04 pm
Mangel LOLOLOLOLOL! Boy can we share! Ask me about the marinade they really liked. If you can get it in before they see it you are good to go in my book! LOLOL!! I'll deny I sneak stuff into their food if ever confronted! :)(:
Jul. 8, 2011 4:42 pm
love the blog, way to go guys, also I secretly love the pic of the truck;)
Jul. 8, 2011 4:54 pm
It is quite a truck, redneck gramma! I could appreciate it but I've not been to OK much I wanted to see what it looked like down there. In case anyone else asks, I don't know how old the animals were or if they are "fixed". I was told today by our local butcher that makes a big DIF. I'm still thinking low and slow cooking will work the best. I appreciate the suggestion a tomatoes for an acid. Maybe that is why the white wine worked well ? Thanks for stopping in and sharing!!
Jul. 8, 2011 5:09 pm
should have done my rambling on your blog rather than your post:)
Jul. 8, 2011 6:36 pm
LOL! Hey I'll take recipe advice whereever I can get it! Here or there as long as I get the pig cooked :)(: And remember where to find it LOL!
Jul. 9, 2011 9:23 pm
Hi, Cat! Great story -- a nice combination of family time well spent and cooking something unusual.I'm pretty sure you pepper is a scotch bonnet aka habanero. Is it REALLY hot? Is it round, but sort of squashed, almost like a Scottish beret? It's a shame you didn't get to keep the ork belly/bacon cuts, but I bet the chops would do well in my Chinese pork belly recipe (recently published, I might add) Instead of the long braise you cook try the PC...
Jul. 10, 2011 10:34 am
GREAT blog as usual Cat. You sure have a way with words. I enjoyed reading every bit of it and Pippin's blog had me laughing until it hurt. I am SO glad he is bouncing back so quickly. I cannot wait to see that sweet little fur baby. As you know, I had no luck in the kitchen with the wild hog so I cannot help you there. I'm so glad yours didn't end up tasting like what burnt hair smells like as mine did. That was horrid :) I have a few questions about the round up and will email you a little later today. TTYL
Jul. 10, 2011 3:24 pm
Good EatNZ, did I have a choice about the bacon? I have no clue. That is as far as processing. And would it have been the same as domestic? Sotch Bonnet is different from habanero isn't it? I thought they were rated differently, the scotch being hotter. It does look like a beret and trust me this is not one of the hot peppers I've grown. My pepper book shows the habanero but it does not look like what is in my jar. Wish me luck with the pork. At least, thanks to you I can make a sauce sing now:)(: LOL Bear with me I've been in the heat all day. Weeding. Why do they do better than what you plant? LOL!
Jul. 10, 2011 3:29 pm
Nicole, that was sweet of you to say. And nope, no burnt hair taste. Just tough! I'm glad you liked Pip's blog. He is adjusting very well. Email away! Time is getting close:)(: I just hope we don't have this heat then!
Jul. 10, 2011 5:08 pm
You are fearless! Wild boar isn't something I see myself cooking in my NY apartment. I loved Pippin's blog and am so happy he is making a great recovery. You have really made inside life more fun for him and he needs to appreciate that not every feline has a "catio."
Jul. 11, 2011 3:45 pm
BigShotsMom,LOLOLOLOL! It is funny you say that about being fearless. The first dish I ever cooked when young without "Mom" supervision was a souffle. Goes to show if you have no idea how hard they are, you can try anything! The boar isn't so bad, I can deal with game. When first married we had a lot of that instead of store bought meat :) Fearless or just plain ignorant hard to say LOL! I'm glad you liked Pippin's story. I'm trying to get him into a routine of sorts so he doesn't miss life as it used to be! He is getting there. Slowly.
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Cat Hill

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Kansas City, Missouri, USA

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About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
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