Backyard deer hunting

Inexpensive food from the outdoors

4th of July Hogs

with one comment

For us in the deep South the 4th of July typically requires some sort of hog meat, and wild hogs work very well in providing it.

This roasted boar's head provided both sliced meat and the start of Brunswick stew.

This roasted boar's head provided both sliced meat and the start of Brunswick stew.

Sometimes I have gone a little exotic with whole roast wild boar’s head which provided both sliced meat and Brunswick stew, while on other occasions I have only char-broiled a side of ribs.

For those who do not know what Brunswick stew is, this is a meat-based stew which employs a variety of game meats to which is added tomatoes, corn and perhaps other vegetables. In my part of Georgia this traditionally started with a boiled hog’s head along with deer meat, raccoon, squirrel or whatever wild-game meats might be available.

Brunswick stew made from a wild boar's head and deer.

Brunswick stew made from a wild boar's head and deer.

Commercial Brunswick stew is now mostly made of chicken, which is something of a travesty.  In coastal South Carolina snapping turtle was a common additive and this is truer to the original nature of Brunswick stew. One definition I read called this dish, “a meaty stew made from the eatable parts of the head of a hog.” On reading this to Thresa,  my late wife, she quickly informed me that there were no eatable parts on the head of a hog.

Well there are. A roast boar’s head was a part of the English cooking tradition and gave rise to many Boar’s Head taverns and even a line of cured meats by that name.  

A European presentation of sliced wild boar with mustard and a Polish table service from Wild Boar Blades.

A European presentation of sliced wild boar with mustard and a Polish table service from Wild Boar Blades.

 A boar’s head also is part of the annual Christmas feast in Oxford, England, and is brought out with ceremony and its own song.

The head should be boiled and the hide scraped prior to cooking. Unfortunately, my head was previously frozen and the scraping was not successful as boiling did not loosen the hair. I skinned it and then roasted the head giving the results seen. The leaner portions of meat from the neck and head along with some roasted deer provided the meat base for the Brunswick stew to which was added tomatoes, corn and butter beans.

Both Brunswick, Georgia, and Brunswick County, Virginia, strongly assert that they originated Brunswick stew.

For those that might find Boar's head a bit much, grilled wild hog ribs are difficult to beat.

For those that might find Boar's head a bit much, grilled wild hog ribs are difficult to beat.

Like the bar-b-que that this dish often accompanies, it is very difficult to find a restaurant that does true justice to both.

The meat from wild porkers is usually best when the animal weighs about  200 pounds, has been feeding on crops or acorns and is quickly cleaned, cooled and processed.

Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning wild hogs or working with the meat.  This is also a good policy when cleaning with any wild game animals or working with fresh meat.

Written by hoveysmith

July 4, 2009 at 8:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] 4th of July Hogs (Jul 4, 2009) […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: