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Cooking Meat/Wild hog, shoulder

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Question
I'm the lucky recipient of a leg and shoulder from a 150-lb sow. They've been in a chest on ice for two days now. After doing some reading, I have a good idea of how to proceed with the ham, but I'm not sure about the shoulder. Can it be prepared like I would a Boston butt? Do you have a personal favorite?

FYI, he says the hogs on their place are always mild in flavor. They eat lots of acorns and pecans.

Answer
Paige:

Yes.  The shoulder is going to need braising due to it having more connective tissue and sinew(the shank portion anyway) than the ham does.  There is a recipe from an old game cook gook that I like.

The old timer would sear the shoulder on a grill, then put it on a double layer of foil and cover it in a mixture of chopped onions and BBQ sauce.  Then he would seal up the foil using the butchers fold ( pull the long edge together like folding a bedsheet, then fold down about 1/2 inch several times and crease then fold it down the rest of the way in larger folds.  It makes a steam tight seal).  Then he would put it in the oven or in a covered grill to cook, or bake for 3-4 hours or longer.  The moist heat of braising or cooking in this manner converts the connective tissue to gelatin.  Crock pots do the same thing, braising is the preferred cooking method of pot roasts and other somewhat tough cuts of meat.  The moist heat just below boiling does the trick.  Recall the brownish gelatin looking stuff on a cooked pot roast?  That is the converted connective tissue.

It being a sow you should not have boar-taint problem.  Boar-taint is why the castrate domestic hogs.  Hormones in the male pigs account for the strong flavor and odor in older male feral hogs, not so much their diet.  Sows and younger boars are a safe bet for decent tasting meat.

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Keith Patton

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I can answer questions regarding wildgame cookery ranging from venison, elk, buffalo, wild geese, duck, wild turtle, feral hog, javalena, wild boar, racoon, beaver, and woodchuck.

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I am an avid hunter and chef. I have run a successful catering business, processing my own meat, curing hams and making wild game sausage.

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