For some odd reason, I have had a lot of nicknames growing up. As a young pup, my nickname was Bucket, something to do with my uncanny ability to crap bucketfuls…..then in my adolescent years there was Todd the Turd, something to do with my uncanny ability to be a turd most of the time……and then after my first divorce, there was Todd the As……well maybe we should just stop there.
Although most nicknames have come and gone, one nickname has suck, Ten Pig Todd. Several years ago while being dropped off at a blind during our annual spring turkey hunt, we came up upon a bunch of wild pigs devouring deer corn underneath a feeder. Upon scurrying away, one of our buddies said, “If those sumbitches come back, you shoot every damn one of them”. Unfortunately for them, they came back and hence TPT.
Now, some may see this act as cruel and excessive. To those who do, I say hog wash. Wild pigs breed like rabbits, but unlike rabbits, wild pigs aren’t cute and furry. No, wild pigs are mean, nasty and tear schit up. Wild pigs are the scourge of the earth to farmers and ranchers everywhere. But what is one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…..“Swines Gone Wild”. Unlike domesticated swine, wild pigs aren’t boring, bland and tasteless. Wild pigs are packed with flavor and tend to have subtle earthy notes of grains, nuts, fruits and berries.
Rarely do I use my blog as a vehicle to highlight someone else’s work. But in this case, I feel it is appropriate. A good friend of mine recently gave me a wild game cookbook titled “After The Hunt”. It is written by renowned Chef John D. Folse and is a dedication to the brotherhood/fellowship of hunting and the time-honored techniques of cooking game. The cookbook is without equal and his recipe for Wild Boar Chops is outstanding. If you don’t believe me, then take it from Ten Pig Todd.
Courtesy John D. Folse, After The Hunt
8 Double cut wild boar chops
2 c white onion, chopped
¼ t crushed red pepper
1 t thyme
1 t rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 c dry red wine
2 t red wine vinegar
2 t vegetable oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
Granulated garlic to taste
¼ c olive oil
½ c celery, chopped
¼ c bell pepper, chopped
2 t garlic, minced
4 c game stock *
2 t unsalted butter
Goat Cheese Grits, click for recipe
* If you don’t have wild game stock, beef stock is a good substitute.
In a large Ziploc plastic bag, combine 1 c onion, red pepper, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, red wine, vinegar and vegetable oil and mix well. Place chops in bag, remove as much air from bag as possible and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Remove chops from marinade and reserve liquid. Season chops with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over high heat and sauté chops until brown on both sides. Transfer chops to baking dish and set aside. In same skillet, add remaining chopped onion, celery, bell pepper and minced garlic and sauté until vegetables are wilted. Pour vegetables over chops in baking dish. Add reserved marinade and stock to skillet and bring to a boil. Pour sauce over vegetables and chops in baking dish. Cover tightly and place dish in the oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender.
Remove chops from baking dish, place on a platter and cover with foil. Pour juices from baking dish into skillet, bring to a boil and reduce to 2 cups. Whisk in butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon goat cheese grits onto a platter, arrange chops and pour sauce over the top.