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Cooking Meat/cooking wild pig

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Let me start by saying that I am a novice big game hunter but an avid waterfowl hunter and fisherman. We recently purchaced a "weekend farm" and have begun to hunt the property. On Saturday, my 12 yr old son killed a feral pig that weighed more than 200lb. The animal was killed with a clean shot to the neck, it went down immediatly....We cleaned the animal with the help of our caretaker and after quartering and removing the backstraps, placed the parts and pieces in a large ice chest and covered it in ice. I was told to leave the meat in the ice chest, periodicly draining the bloody water and adding more ice, for several days before doing anything with it.....enough for the preliminaries....I would like to grill the backstraps and possibly slow grill the shoulders or hams (hind quarters). My wife is not sold on the idea of cooking a "wild pig" in her kitchen so I need to use the outdoor grill for this first effort.....any suggestions you can offer would be appreciated....

Answer
Bobby:

The key is to cook by temperature.  First go get a good instant read meat thermometer.  This pork you have will be lean so you don't want to overcook it or it will be dry and tough.

Was the meat skinned out during it's stay in the cooler?  I hope it was.  Most gamey meat taste comes from mishandling the meat. I assume that the stay in the cooler was to draw the gamey flavor from the meat.  Un fortunately most meat handling knowledge acquired by hunters is folk lore.  Like cutting a deer's throat to bleed it.  A modern rifle bleeds out a deer or anything else pretty efficiently.  That bit of wisdom comes from the slaughter pen while killing hogs.  You shoot them in the head and then cut their throats while the heart is still beating to bleed them.

Anyway, you can cook the tenderloin (back strap) just like you would the same cut of pork.  It makes nice cutlets too if you slice it.  Any number of pork tenderloin recipes will work.

The hams and shoulders are another matter.  A good recipe for the grill, it it is large enough is to sear the outside of the ham or shoulder, then lay the meat on a double thickness of foil, enough to wrap it in.  Put your favorite BBQ sauce on it and chopped onions.  This recipe lends itself to inprovisation.  Then after you have slathered the BBQ sauce and onions over it wrap it tight and place it on the grill.  If you grill is covered, great, you can use a propane grill if it has more than one burner.  You want to use indirect heat.  So either pile your charcoal to one side or turn one or more of your burners off and place the wrapped meat in the cooker to took for the day.  You want the neat to reach at least 150 F internal temp.  Trichinosis is killed at around 140.  You could take it to 155F but not much higher or you'll over cook it.

What you don't cook all of, like the tenderloin, cut into manageable pieces and freeze in bags, pressing out the air and labeling them, date them too. Then go to the used book store and find a good cook book on german, or game cooking.
You could make a weinersnitzel out of some of the tenderloin.  Take a 1/2 cutlet, pound with a meat hammer till it is about 1/8.  Pound on both sides.  You can bread it if you like by dredging in flour, dipping in beaten egg with 12 table spoon of milk added, then coating with bread crumbs.  Sit aside to dry, then sautee in 1/4 olive oil till brown on medium heat.  Heat the oil first.  Then prepare a shirtaki mushroom gravey.  Get the dried mushrooms at an oriental food store, soak them in warm water and slice.  Make a brown gravey or use a packaged mushroom gravy mix.  Add your mushrooms.  Serve over the schnitzel.  For an added flair put a fried sunny side up egg on top of the gravy and meat.  This is Schnitzel Hollstein.  Without the egg it is JagerSchnitzel, or Hunter's Cutlet.  A side of pan roasted potatos, green beans sauteed with bacon and fennel and you have a feast fit for a hunter.

Keith

Cooking 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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