Monday, January 3, 2011

Big Cutters, Rank Hogs, and Coffee

© 2009, 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Hunting Big Hogs in Florida, Chronicles Style!

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, burrowing 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 or the other hogs with him. taking a prone position in an open patch of sandy dirt,  I took off my leather hat, laid it in front of me, and used it as a rest for my light 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 Weatherby and the Remington Safari Grade ammo I use.

180 grains of copper clad and partitioned lead went right under his left eye, through the hog's 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...

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Shindand Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
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!


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Albert Quackenbush said...

What a great post! I an very curious and looking forward to trying out the instant coffee technique. That sounds great!

Albert A Rasch said...


I remember reading about it years ago, and I mean a long time ago, somewhere. When confronted by that rank roast, I tried it out and by-golly it worked. I don't know whats in instant coffe, but it tenderizes and kills the rankness.

Thanks for stopping by!
Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Albert Rasch In Afghanistan™