We killed it… we grew it… we cooked it… we ate it! Hubby killed a wild hog and put it in the smoker on Friday. We dug some new potatoes, onions, and picked yellow crooked-neck squash. Now that is a fresh from the land meal.
This all came about when hubby went to help neighbor check his hog traps. These wild hogs has been causing a lot of damage in the area and are dangerous. We firmly believe that is what killed a couple of our kittens and our neighbors dog. Imagine the surprise to find 19 hogs in the first trap. Like all wild game, it must be killed and cleaned correctly (I won’t go into detail on these aspects today). Cooking it is a different story!
Wild boar is extremely low in fat, which means it can dry out easily when fully cooked. Hubby popped this in the smoker (with apple wood) and cooked it for several hours. Since it was a little dry, I decided to cook the back strap and a slice of ham in the oven with a bit of lemon juice and blackberry syrup (you can get my blackberry syrup recipe HERE ). The rest went to the freezer.
Now like I mentioned before, wild meat (especially wild hog) is very low in fat compared to domestic meat. On our second hog, we decided to brine it before we smoked it in order to add extra moisture before smoking.
Moisture will still cook out of your meat, but you will start with more moisture. This did give us a juicier batch of meat. This brine can work on any meat, not just wild game…
Basic Brine Recipe
1 cup of table salt per 1 gallon of water
Subtle flavorings to add are
1/2 cup sugar per 1 gallon of water
You can also add herbs, onions, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
Stir the salt into the water until it dissolves. You may want to heat the water to make the salt dissolve easier. Cool brine completely before you add the meat.)
Add the meat and allow it soak for several hours in the refrigerator. Soaking overnight is great if you have the time. When the soak is finished remove the meat from the brine, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Add your rub/spices and you’re ready to cook.
Wild hogs cause millions of dollars worth of damage each year in the US. Introducing domestic hogs into the wild for game purposes has been an environmental FAIL. They breed with Russian hogs (brought over years ago by early settlers), and have created a hybrid invasive species. We are now trying to find people who can use these creatures to feed their family… OTHERWISE we will be forced to kill them and let the meat go to waste. We can not return them to the wild. 🙁
Have you ever ate exotic or wild game?