As I have shared with you on numerous occasions, we have a large feral hog population on both of our ranches in Grimes County. Many television shows capture the hunting and trapping of these pests. They are destructive animals plowing up large sections of land overnight with their strong snouts. There is always a fair amount of danger when dealing with any wild animal; hogs are no exception.
Boars are very large and protective of their herd. Their tusks can easily cut flesh, they bite, and their husky size is intimidating. Sows are even more protective if they have a litter of pigs at their side. You do not want to get between her and her children. We do not hunt for pigs in a traditional way nor do we go out with dogs and big knives as I have seen on television. Instead, my husband and sons assemble hog traps and bait them with corn.
Lately we have been blessed with full traps. Wild boar is considered a delicacy in gourmet cuisine; however, my family prefers the younger pigs and the sows. This week my husband smoked a wild pork loin, grilled wild pork chops, and smoked wild pork ribs. These were all delicious and all came from a 200 pound sow.
My eleven year old son, Jake, killed a piglet. It weighed anywhere from 10-15 pounds. He cleaned it and laid it on ice for a day. Then he washed the carcass and prepared it for cooking. He even went out to our garden and found the vegetables necessary for his invented recipe.
Jake surprised me by baking it and also making a side dish. My young man not only brought home the proverbial bacon, but he prepared it for the family as a treat to me. I don’t know many eleven year old boys who could or would do this today.
Slow-Baked Wild Hog
One small piglet
2 bell peppers, chopped in large pieces
1 lg. onion, chopped in large pieces
Tony Chachere’s or similar Cajun seasoning
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking dish with heavy duty foil with enough to wrap the meat up completely. Chop up the onion and bell peppers and stuff the cavity of the pig. Squeeze lime juice over the meat and sprinkle with the seasoning to your liking. Finish wrapping with the foil like it is in a pocket. Bake for 3 hours. The meat will become extremely tender and fall off the bone.
I was impressed with Jake’s initiative and ability. The dinner was extra special in that it came from the ranch and at the hands of my young son. Considering how many feral hogs we have been trapping, we will be getting wild in the kitchen for a while.