Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'll Have My Coffee Now If You Please.

© 2009, 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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I had shot that three hundred pounder right through the cheekbone.

We had been hunting hog at a friend's ranch an hour or so from where I lived. We had been carefully stalking this bad boy for the better part of two hours. There were sows and piglets to contend with, mosquitoes, and the occasional pygmy rattle thrown in for fun. Actually, I was pretty sure those damned chiggers were, at that very moment, digging into my tender flesh and making themselves at home.

Skirting palmetto clumps, and patches of scrub oak, we finally got into position with out spooking him. I took off my leather hat, laid it in front of me, and used it as a rest for my hog hunting rifle, a 30/06 Weatherby Eurosport. I wanted an instant kill; I had had enough of chiggers, ticks and skeeters for the day, so I carefully lined up for a spinal shot. I was certain of my shooting ability, and I have complete confidence in my weapon and the ammo I use.

180 grains of copper clad and partitioned lead went right under his left eye, through his sinus cavity, and smashed right into his spinal column where it demolished nine inches of bone and nerves, disrupting much of his motor functions. But it wasn't enough. By the time I had crossed the forty or so yards between us, he had regained some use of his body. His jaws worked to and fro, slashing at the under growth, hooking roots, branches and the occasional shrub. Apparently he could use his back legs, and had some use of his front right one. He stumbled as he tried to charge me.

I had stoked the Weatherby with another Remington Safari Grade Swift A-Frame before I was even up. As I raised the Weatherby for a follow up shot, Matt put his hand on my shoulder. "Wait, don't waste the bullet, let me finish him with my .22." Moments later the big hog was down.

And what a hog! Scarred and cut up from slugging it out with the other males, he was a brute; three inches of whetted tusks stuck out either side. I had him mounted, but unfortunately over the years he has deteriorated to the point that it was, in my mind, disrespectful to his memory to have him displayed in that condition. So he now resides sealed in a large bin with a desiccant package and a pest control devise. Maybe, when times are a little better, I can have him refurbished, and he can take place of pride over my desk again.

I really need to get out hog hunting...

But that's not why I tell the tale. Cooking, that's what I want to talk about.

It all started, innocently enough, when I happened upon Miss Jamie's blog Borderland Adventures: Her Perspective and her post Stinky Little Pigs.

Now I like pigs. I like them as livestock, pets, and wildlife. I like them alive and I like them roasted. Now Miss Jamie is actually writing about the New World equivalent of the pig, that being the peccary also known as the javelina. Miss Jamie does an excellent job of explaining their natural history and taxonomy; and she does it with great humor. In addition you will find great narratives of the border area, posts on cooking both in the home and out in the field, and a product review. Not only that, but she has some great photography too! I heartily recommend visiting her Blog Borderland Adventures: Her Perspective.

Now back to the cooking. As it turns out both peccaries and that big ol' hog I took, have similarities. They both stink real bad. As in rank.

I don't like to waste game. But a rank old hog is unpalatable. Simple as that; just plain inedible. I had Matt carve out the tenderloins, if that's not a misnomer I don't know what is. I also got the two roasts. Matt got the rest to grind up for sausage.

When I got home I threw a box of coarse salt over the meat and ice in the cooler. I figured that would buy me enough time to figure out what I was going to do.

I've got one of those big enameled roasting pan, and I always have a lot of garlic. Work with what you got I always say. As I was trying not to pass out from the testosterone induced odor, I remembered reading somewhere that instant coffee neutralized the odor and helped to tenderize the meat. I couldn't remember how much was recommended, so I dumped a big handful in there. I mean I poured it into my hand and dumped it over the roast. With that done, I took a knife skewered that roast and stuffed garlic into every hole I made. I doused it thoroughly with some white wine, the cheap stuff I keep for those meddlesome neighbors, and put the cover on it.

I set the oven on low (325 F) and came back to it about four hours later.

Holy smokes! It worked! The smell was gone, and in its place a delectable and genuinely delicious aroma of cooked pork with subtle tones of garlic. After due deliberations though it was decided that a couple of more hours wouldn't hurt. I cut up some more garlic, potatoes, carrots, and celery, and poured in some more wine and water.

A couple of hours later we were sitting around the table enjoying a tender and tasty roast.

I've tried it out with other cuts of tough meat both wild and domestic with similar results. Oh and there is no taste of coffee either. What is in the instant coffee that does that is unknown to me. All I know is that it works.

Amazing what you can do with some coffee...

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

While cruising the Blogsphere this morning, I came upon this "The Bacon Weave." For those of you that don't have enough cholesteral in your diet, this is a sure fire way to get it up there! Brought to you by the fellows at BBQ Addicts!



The Suburban Bushwacker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Another classic from the chief chronicler!

Native said...

I also have heard about coffee trick Albert,
Have yet to try it, but your recipe sounds very tasty and I will definitely give it a shot.

When the "dogs" have ran the animal and then the catch dogs get ahold of it, that also makes for a rank smelling piece of meat as well.
So I will pass this info along to the clients who wound and then we have to chase.

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...


One of my favorite hunts was in pursuit of hogs in S. Carolina (about 20 minutes from Myrtle Beach). My buddy and I each shot three hogs each over a course of 3 days and had some amazing pig roasts with the local natives.

I hunted my hogs with a Browning .270 but the effects at 150 yards in the head and neck were nothing short of instant death. This "Maine" boy wasn't tracking a bloody hog in alligator infested swamps! LOL!

This instant coffee thing has me incredible intrigued. I wonder how it works with Eider? It don't get much more "gamey" than that! :)

Albert A Rasch said...


It will work on anything, if it works on an old boar hog. I've never tried it on a fish eating animal though, nor have I heard of anyone trying. But by golly, you can be the first, and let us know. I guess a bird would only need a tablespoon or two so don't go crazy, otherwise you'll stay up all night.


Phillip said...

Good post, Arthur!

A lot of folks, particularly down in TX, swear by soaking a rank boar (or a javelina) in a mixture of lemon juice, salt, and water. It's supposed to take that rank smell out of the meat.

I haven't tried this one yet, because the only really rank boar I ever shot was killed before I learned this method... and nothing else I tried came close to getting the stink out of that animal.

Someone mentioned eider... when I accidentally kill a fish-eating duck, I always soak the critter at least overnight in a mixture of milk and honey. It's simple, and it works. It would probably work on a big hog too, but that would take an awful lot of milk.

mdmnm said...

Unless you shoot and old javelina, they're actually very mild flavored (just like the feral hogs they're not really related to). One of the things it to remove the scent gland off the back, it lies just under the skin a bit up from the tail, without breaking it. After that, assuming you gut, skin, & cook quickly, it's pretty hard to find a prettier meat. Big old boar pigs like your guy, well, I agree with you about toughness and flavor.

Wild Ed said...

That same instant coffee thrown into your bread dough makes a wonderful dark bread. If you stir a tablespoon of instant coffee into a pan of cream gravy it becomes a some of the best gravy ever poured on a biscuit. Wild Ed