Aug 27 2014

Cooler Fall Temperatures Mean Pork on the Plate

As the summer temperatures been to wain, at least a little lower than the 100-plus days, the cooler weather of fall that is just around the corner can be just the right time to start putting feral hogs in their proper place -- on a plate.

Wild hogs that roam across Texas in numbers exceeding 2 million are pests for landowners, but are an added bonus for hunters interested in fine table fare. As long as the hogs are field dressed, cleaned and put on ice or in a cooler in a rapid manner, the meat will be good to eat even if the outside temperatures are in the 50s and 60s. Pork spoils a lot quicker than venison or other game when exposed to warm or hot temperatures, so quick, clean and cool are vital elements of quality feral hog fare.

The following recipe that features feral hog -- shoulder and hams are what make the best tasting soup -- in a dish that can warm the soul after a day in the field. The recipe is from my upcoming book: "Shooting and Cooking With Old Boots and Bacon Grease," that features a variety of shooting and cooking tips for outdoor enthusiasts.

If the hunter in your family has a hard time bringing home hog on the hoof; a deboned and cut-up Boston Butt roast from your local grocery store can be used as a substitute for the cubed feral hog meat.

The Right Fit Hog and Potato Soup
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 pound feral hog meat, diced
  • Chef Ralph’s Super Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) beef broth
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook until crisp. Remove cooked bacon, crumble into pieces and set aside on a warm plate. Season diced feral hog meat (shoulders or hams work best) with Chef Ralph’s, place in hot bacon grease and dust with flour. Brown meat on all sides. Reduce heat to medium low and add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and serrano. Simmer, turning often, for about five minutes. Pour in broth and milk, stir well and cover. In a separate cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat, add potatoes and season with onion salt and cayenne(I also use a little more Chef Ralph's). Brown potatoes on all sides, then add to simmering meat mixture along with the crumbled bacon. Cover Dutch oven and simmer at least an hour.

Now, let's get cooking!