Hunting wild hogs has grown in popularity. The feral swine are considered vermin in most areas, but for those who have embraced the wild proteins for the plate, there is no turning back. Areas with large hog populations can provide year-round hunting opportunities, and provide a steady source of quality meat.
Hogs can be challenging to hunt, and if the adventure of pursuit does not get you hooked, the chops, hams, specialty sausages and ribs will. Feral hogs are the most common in North America, but there are still some strains of Russian wild boar. Both make excellent table fare.
With 22 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving, wild pork is a natural for people on the go. Like any wild game, a feral hog is lean and must be prepared properly to avoid drying out. Steaming the ribs is a great way to cook extra fat off them and make them fall-off-the-bone delicious. The size of the ribs will dictate cooking time, as there is a significant difference between a 70-pound wiener pig and a 300-pound boar. Do not be afraid to check the ribs with a fork while baking them in the oven. It will ensure the ribs are perfect when they hit the grill for basting and browning.
This recipe works well for any wild game ribs. Black bear, deer, antelope, and elk all bake up tender, and the Greek basting sauce adds flavor to ensure there are no leftovers. Remember, back ribs always have more meat than side ribs, but either will work with this recipe.
2-4 lbs. wild hog ribs
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp steak spice
1 Tbsp dried oregano
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (approximately two lemons)
Zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp seasoning salt
1 Tbsp lemon pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic
⅓ cup melted butter
1. Rub the surface of the ribs with Worcestershire sauce, steak spice (Montreal or other similar), and oregano. Place the ribs on end in a roasting pan with 1-2 inches of water and bake at 350°F for 1½-2 hours. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pan to maintain moisture.
2. Mix the basting ingredients and heat for one minute in the microwave to melt butter and combine.
3. Remove the ribs from the baking pan and place them on a barbecue preheated to 350°F. Baste the ribs with the basting sauce.
4. Grill the ribs for 5 to 10 minutes to brown and soak up flavors from basting. Remove and serve.
For more delicious wild-game recipes, click here.