Follow Me To The Deep End!!

Dec 12, 2007

Wild Boar Is No Bore. A Wild, Wild Sausage. Santa Paula, CA.

wildboarart
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

Every sign of the day suggested that it was a day to celebrate life. Wild grasses ebbed and flowed with the cool breeze, rhythmic and alive. Leaves on an ancient oak played stray musical notes like dozens of wind chimes. Hidden in the vast chaparral were small, gentle voles that spread apart in the day and huddled together at night. Living their lives mostly on high alert, today, however, these small, gentle creatures welcomed the optimism and let their guards down ever so slightly, relaxing just a little. It was a holiday after all.

A lone wild boar who had wandered far from his sounder too felt this sense of well being as he rooted for something to eat. He snuffled for beetles, berries and all manner of rubbish. Not in the least particular about his ingesta as long as they filled his belly and took away the pangs, and at the moment, even a lizard seemed delectable to the boar. The flavor of any food would be enhanced by this enchanted day. But if the day had been a dreary one, his meal would be so as well. And, oh brilliant day, it was a choice one to eat like a wild boar king. He could not believe his fortune as he came upon a bounty of barley high on the ridge with no other animal in sight. It was a great chance to be the feral pig he was and eat every bit of it.

The bolt from the hunter’s crossbow flew straight and true. It parted the wild boar’s tuft of fur and pierced the thick hide, then cleared any bones and at last penetrated his heart. The tranquility of the moment was suddenly shattered by an agonizing and sustained squeal, then came a wet sputtering and finally dead silence. The half-masticated barley hadn’t even been swallowed and it never would be.

Everything was silent until the hunter came out of his position to collect his felled beast, then the life around began to chatter again, retelling the tale of the wild boar and his demise. The enchanted day continued for the rest of the prairie. But for the wild boar the holiday was over.

boarsausage

The dead animal was an older boar with tough meat from years of tough living. Its carcass radiated with the redolence of consistently indiscriminant dining and filled the hunter’s nostrils with a funk that induced tears. This would be a sausage pig, the hunter sighed. His buddies howled with laughter and tossed him a warm Pabst as consolation.

To combat the intense gaminess of this old boar, equally intense seasonings were necessary. The butcher suggested Cajun seasoning. After the old boar was ground, the Cajun spices were worked in, then the mix fed into a hog casing.

grilledboar

When grilled right, the casing is slightly charred with a moist yet crispy welcome. Although initially savory with the promise of more succulence to come, this anticipation is never rewarded. The fact is this boar was old and tired. The meat was dry, not quite jerky dry but pretty damn dry. He reeked and didn’t care — we’ve all had those days except this boar was committed to it. His meat tasted of a messy medley of meadow debris, slightly porky with a big bouquet of B.O. finished with a mercilessly pungent and loitering aftertaste. The peppery burn of the Cajun spices did well to temporarily distract from the skunky and funky but, with no effort, the sausage regained its signature sapor of sweat soon enough.

cutsausage

A wild sausage does indeed a wild boar make, but for a couple of reasons, the flavor of this unique meat quickly won me over. In the short time it took me to eat the sausage — from the first repulsive bite to the final convoluted taste — my opinion of it changed for the better but with a huge asterisk attached. Wild boar sausage is the stinky cheese of the sausage world. It clearly is malodorous yet complex with hidden delights peeking through its wilderness every now and again. If you have the fortitude, focus and patience, I encourage you to take a walk on the wild side, tune-up your crossbow and try some wild boar sausage yourself. Well, maybe you don’t actually need to hunt the savage, smelly swine. After all, eating it is harrowing enough.

15 comments:

fressack said...

At leasr - something new. I thought you were on a long holiday....

Unfortunately the pungent aroma has its origin in the content of sexual hormons. So I was told by a hunter/butcher. That's why boars meat will never be used for sausages in Germany. Whereas the meat of younger animals is turned into delicious things as sausages and hams.

Eddie Lin said...

fressack,

why are you busting my balls (as they say in america)? i love your attention to my blog but, man, you are asking for my blood. peace, my friend out there in the european blogosphere!

thanks for the information on the sexual hormones. perhaps everything tastes different when sex is involved, eh?

Clo said...

Wild boar is very common in the delicious cuisine of Sardinia, the Italian island above Sicily. I ate it number of times and ways, in a stew, grilled, etc. do they have Sardinian restaurants in LA? I doubt it...Bravo Eddie, I see celebrity does not hurt your talent, but you ARE indeed becomeing a snob!!!

Jennie said...

Ew, sausage with the delicate flavour of B.O.? I'll pass on this one. I do partake in a vampyrical blood sausage once in a while though. Hey, who shot the boar?!

Eddie Lin said...

clo,

yes, there is at least one sardinian restaurant in LA. it's called campagnola.

http://www.campagnolatrattoria.com/

but as suspected, there is no wild boar on their "authentic" menu.

thanks for your compliment, but, please, i'm not really a snob, just very busy. i want to squeeze all of your cheeks.


jennie,

yeah, you might have to bring your own deodorant to rub on the sausage. i suggest the "teen spirit" brand. it's fresh!

who shot the old boar? my father-in-law's friend.

Gustavo Arellano said...

You know how Eddie's a snob? Because he used one of those antique drawings to illustrate the wild boar. Tally ho, Eddie!

DocChuck said...

Wow! It's been a while ... a LONG while ... since I have experimented with cooking wild boar. When I was younger, MUCH younger, I used to hunt wild boar in southwest Texas.

I never made sausage with it, but I did use it in my chili recipe. I would first cut the meat (carefully trimmed) into 1-inch cubes, marinate it for 24 hours in a cheap red wine, and then use it just like beef and/or pork.

Don't remember it being any better than "tame" domestic meat, but it was EXOTIC, and that ALWAYS adds to the mystique, (I think).

Good post, thanks.

Chubbypanda said...

That poor, delicious, flavor-packed lil' piggy. =D Mmm... Tastes like a couple hundred pounds of razor-tusked fury.

MrsDocChuck said...

I'm sorry. My husband (a retired "educator") found this site after he googled "sexual hormones."

In actuality, he does not know the first thing about cooking anything that does not involve a can of cream soup.

I am an excellent cook though (and much younger than my husband, if that excites you) and once ran a commercial kennel that supplied the restaurant industry in our Arkansas retirement village.

I just might surprise my husband with some wild boar sausage this weekend!

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Ha! That's what you get for shooting a pig in winter. I shoot them in the hills outside Paso Robles, and their taste varies wildly depending on the time of year. Best time is when the acorns have just fallen, followed by spring - they eat a lot of green shoots then.

And even an old boar need not be so funky, although I like that odd bouquet, too. You can soak the meat in a brine, which will alter its taste to whatever you want, or soak it in milk to make it mild. Or both.

Nice post, and glad to see you enjoyed the beast. Reminds me: I gotta get out there in a month or two...

DocChuck said...

"mrsdocchuck" is really SeriouEat's famous "chiff0nade" who is once again off her psychotropic meds.

MrsDocChuck said...

My husband is much older than I am and I fear that he is "losing it." He often mistakes me for other women, despite my striking resemblance to a somewhat chubby Bea Arthur.

Bacon is my favorite food, should that interest you.

chiffonade said...

While I don't have access to "freshly hunted" wild boar, I do enjoy it by ordering it from D'Artagnan. It's so much more flavorful than its domesticated cousin.

BTW, The Doc Up Chuck Contingent is hard at it - as evidenced by the slanderous remarks. Please forgive them... I mean him.

Keep cooking real food!
Chiffonade

Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie, Where did you get the great wild boar image. I would love to use it for something if you can give me the source! Tucker in Toronto

Charlie Sommers said...

I once worked in a slaughterhouse and purchased a medium sized domestic boar because the price was right. Unfortunately when placed in a frying pan the meat gave off an aroma I can only associate with a troop of boy scouts putting out a campfire by peeing in it. I made the bulk of it into smoked sausage with a ton of garlic in hopes of concealing the taste of boar hormones. It was still funky.