There’s a bonus for hunting wild hogs. The meat is delicious, especially if you take hogs weighing less than 140 pounds. There’s a big movement toward eating organic crops and free-range animals that haven’t been fed growth hormones and antibiotics. Feral hog meat is one of the leanest meats and lowest in cholesterol. If you plan to hunt these pesky animals, here are a couple of recipes you’ll need to try.
Wild Pig Stew
This recipe makes a nice pot of stew.
2/3-cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds wild pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped (consider using a purple onion for its color)
5 garlic cloves, crushed or 5 tablespoons of prepared garlic
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 cup beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (don’t turn up your nose at this ingredient. It really makes a difference in how tasty the stew is.)
1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, basil and sage leaves
1/2-teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
1/4-cup fresh parsley, minced
Hot, cooked bow-tie pasta
Parmesan cheese, grated (use fresh if possible for a better flavor)
Place flour into a large resealable bag, and add the wild-pig chunks a few pieces at a time. Shake to coat. In Dutch oven, brown pork in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in batches. Remove, and keep warm. In same pan, sauté onion in remaining oil until tender. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaves, cinnamon, tomato paste, vinegar, anchovy paste, herbs, salt, pepper flakes, pepper and pork; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2-hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley. Cover and cook 30-60 minutes more, or until the meat is tender. Skim fat; discard bay leaves and cinnamon. Serve with pasta; sprinkle with cheese. At my home, we also enjoy preparing Italian Wild Pig Stew in our crockpot. After browning the pork and adding all the ingredients for the stew, except for the pasta and the Parmesan cheese, we’ll put the mixture in our crockpot and cook it on low for the rest of the afternoon.
Wild Pork with Garlic-Strawberry Sauce
We first prepared wild pork with this recipe this past spring when strawberries were so abundant, and we were harvesting strawberries from the pottery pots on our deck. Very different, yet delicious, this dish will be sure to please your guests.
1 wild pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2-cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3-cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2-cup butter, divided
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4-cup hot water
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
Sliced fresh strawberries
Flatten pork to 1/4-inch thickness, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the flour, eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip pork in the flour, eggs and bread crumbs. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork in 1/4-cup butter for 2 – 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Then remove pork, and keep warm. Meanwhile, place strawberries in a food processor, or you can use an old-fashioned potato masher to crush the 2 cups of strawberries. In the same skillet, sauté garlic in remaining butter for 1 minute. Add the pureed strawberries, water and bouillon, and heat through. Serve pork with sauce. Garnish with sliced strawberries is desired. Serves 4.
By John E. Phillips