Wild Hog

1151018_437412163039776_1044523863_nWild hogs are an invasive species introduced to Florida by the Spanish in the 15th century. Today, rooting by feral swine causes a tremendous amount of devastation to Florida’s delicate ecosystems and hunting or trapping is the only effective means of controlling the feral swine population in Florida. Fortunately, wild hog meat is a delicious alternative to pork produced in confined animal factory operations (C.A.F.O.s). Wild hog meat is higher in omega-3 fatty acids because the animals generally subsist on a diet rich in roots, nuts, grubs, and small animals. As a result of their natural diet, wild hog meat is darker than corn-raised pork, is richer in flavor, and the fat is usually yellow in color due to tannins in acorns and other nuts in their diet.

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Meat from the sow (adult female) is not ‘gamey’ in flavor, yet boar (adult male) meat is virtually unpalatable because male hogs develop a strong musk gland when they reach sexual maturity. Sport hunters occasionally castrate and re-release young male hogs to allow them to grow larger for future harvesting. Adult castrated males are called bars, and since castration prevents sexual development, they do not take on a gamey flavor. Because of this, Wild Man Foods only offers meat from wild sows or bars.

All of our wild hogs are trapped on private land. Adult animals are transported live to Nettles, a USDA facility in Lake City, Florida where the animal and its meat is inspected for processing. We strive to use every part of each hog: cuts (ribs, pork chops, roasts, and boston butt), sausage, bones for broth, head for head cheese, feet for pickling, fat for lard, liver for pate.  Any trapped piglets are kept at our registered holding facility where they are raised on an all-natural diet. When they reach 50 pounds, they are slaughtered for personal consumption.

Price List (January 2014 – subject to change)

Cuts: Ham, Butt, Ribs & Shoulder $8/lb

Chops: $9/lb

Link Sausage: $10/lb

Pan Sausage: $9/lb

Feet, Fat, Organs, Soup Bones and Neck Bones: $5/lb

Recipes

Like all wild meat, it is essential that wild hog is cooked LOW & SLOW. USDA cooking guidelines for pork recommend a cooking temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time. Wild hog meat is naturally rich and flavorful, but a marinade is a great way to tenderize the meat and add new flavor to your wild hog menu. Since the animals originated in the Mediterranean, there are a wide variety of Mediterranean recipes that are easily adaptable to wild hog.

Rosemary, Balsamic, and Citrus Marinade

This marinade is adapted from a duck recipe created by Italian chef and culinary instructor, Madonna del Piatto.

  • one 1/2 kg (1 lb) meat with skin
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (tarragon and savory work great, too)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • crushed Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 orange
  • 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tblsp red wine
  • 1 tblsp raw honey
  • 3 tblsp olive oil

In a bowl large enough to fit the meat snugly, mix the marinade ingredients, add the garlic cloves and whole rosemary sprigs. Place the meat in the marinade, cover and marinade in the refrigerator overnight.

Murghal Masala Chops

Murghal Masala Meat Rub: Grind 2oz seeds from green cardamom pods, 2 (3-inch) sticks of cinnamon, 1 tblsp cloves, 1 tblsp black peppercorns, and 1 tsp nutmeg in a coffee grinder. Sift out large pieces, and mix powder with 1/4 cup raw salt. Store in a small air tight jar (up to 2 months)

To make Murghal Masala Chops: Wipe chops with a damp towel. Put Murghal Masala, chile powder, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl – make into a paste. Rub paste onto chops and refrigerate two hours to overnight. Cook chops LOW & SLOW on a grill or skillet until done.

Doug Bell’s Herbed Wild Hog Recipe

Our neighbor knocked our socks off with his amazing herbed wild hog recipe, and he was kind enough to share it.

What I did with the hog was to create a brine: 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar, 2 cup salt, 2 cup sugar (paleo-peeps can substitute honey). I let it sit for a week in refrigerationI took it out, patted it dry, wiped with a nice olive oil, rubbed with rosemary and All Spice. Set oven to 225 and cook until tender – about 11 hours.

Wild Hog Sausage Link & Eggs

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Wild hog sausage with wild Chanterelles, backyard chicken eggs, garden chives, and garlic from Swallowtail Farm – in a skillet seasoned with wild hog lard: Place sausage in skillet and cook on medium heat until outside is brown. Slice insice skillet and turn slices. (Do not add oil, lard, salt or pepper; the fat and spices in the sausage will season the skillet as it cooks). Add you favorite mushrooms and continue to turn the sausage with the shrooms. Before the mushrooms are thoroughly cooked, pour beaten eggs into the skillet.  Let sit for a few minutes before adding cuts herbs (chives, parsley, wild onion, or other greens work best). Scramble the ingredients in the skillet and quickly remove before over-cooking. Our link sausage is made by blending pure meat with herbs in an all natural casing. It does not have any sugars or cereal fillers. ($10/lb)

Wild Hog Pan Sausage

1441381_490874867693505_491255021_nPan sausage makes a fabulous breakfast pattie, and it blends well with red and whites sauces. Scrambled wild hog sausage can lend a twist to burritos, tacos, and salads, and it makes a great St. Patty’s Day treat on top of potatoes and Kraut. Pre-made patties are ideal for an on-the go snack while working or engaging in outdoor activities, and tiny meatballs are an excellent accompaniment to cheese, veggies and fermented foods while hosting friends and family. Our pan sausage is made by blending pure meat with herbs. It does not have any sugars or cereal fillers. ($9/lb)

Wild Hog Bone Broth

bone-broth-445x300‘The importance of properly made bone broths (stocks) from wild or pastured animals in the daily diet cannot be emphasized enough. To begin with, they are a rich source of gelatin (derived from the collagen found in the skin, bones, and cartilage of animals), which has many amazing properties, and other important elements useful in treating many disorders. Our Feral Foods brand offers a pet variety ($10/16oz), but it is easy to make your own batch by following the directions in this ‘Broth is Beautiful‘ Bone Broth Recipe published in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook listed on our Books & Resources page.

Wild Hog Head Cheese

Photo: Impress your friends and look like a genius cook with a secret ingredient; wild hog head & foot cheese. We shocked the palettes of conventional family members this Thanksgiving by adding this secret ingredient to mashed potatoes, cooked greens, and homemade stuffing. And your best paleo-diet lovin' canine friend will fall in love with this nutrient-dense and collagen-rich treat! Our Feral Foods brand offers a pet variety $10/8oz, or visit our website for our quick and easy recipe and make your own batch.Impress your friends and look like a genius cook with a secret ingredient; wild hog head & foot cheese. We shocked the palettes of conventional family members last Thanksgiving by adding this collagen and nutrient rich ingredient to mashed potatoes, cooked greens, and homemade stuffing. It also makes a great treat for your your best paleo-diet lovin’ canine friend. Our Feral Foods brand offers a pet variety ($10/8oz), but it is easy to make your own batch by following the directions in the video tutorial below.

Wild Hog Lard

Lard is rendered pork fat. It is easy to render fat by exposing the fat to very low heat (in a crockpot, double boiler or oven) and collecting the liquid fat as it melts. Wild hog lard is rich in essential nutrients such as Omega 3 fats that include Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), DHA (the brain fat), EPA (found primarily in deep ocean fish) and GLA (found in some plant oils.) For information about the health benefits of lard, review the article ‘We are healthy because we eat lard‘ by Will Winter.

Share your recipe with us! We are always looking for new and exciting ways to prepare wild hog. Feel free to share your own recipes and experiences on our Facebook Page.