Friday, November 19, 2010

Never a BOARing moment

Keith and I may look gentile at first but really we are quite the rebels. When Foremost told us that we could not sell raw milk ...we did. When other dairy farmers told us we had to dehorn all our calves, we stopped. When the conventional world told us only grain fed cattle would taste good, we went to all grass fed. So it seems only logical that when we were told boar meat would always be bad we raised one just for the sole purpose of experimentation. Humanely of course. With informed consent.

We blame Walter.

After reading Walter Jeffries blog for quite some time and hearing about the success he had with boar meat we decided to give it a try. I've blogged in the past about castrating our little piglets because both Keith and I had been told/taught that male piglets left with gonads intact would result in bad smelling, bad tasting meat. This being due to the hormones released as they reached puberty. One farmer told me,  "The smell will be so bad you will RUN (Forrest) from your kitchen.

But Walter said No.

So we raised our Red Wattle boar  (born with no wattles even though his folks both had wattles) with another boar of the same age. Fed organic grain, milk and hay and on pasture in the open air we watched and wondered, We kept him away from adult females hogs in a quiet environment where he was fed (and scratched behind the ears ) by Keith or I everyday . Somedays I even hummed to him. Not sure why. It just seemd like the right thing to do. When he was 9 months old and close to 300 pounds we took him for a ride to the butcher. Two weeks later we took him, well his big chops, for a test run.

                   Now you know why we describe our Red Wattle meat as beefy looking.
                                   Not exactly the "other white meat" is it ?

While baking in the oven I kept sniffing the air like a hound dog on a squirrel hunt. Nothing. When Keith came in from chores I let him take the first bite. I'm thoughtful that way. He chewed and swallowed. I waited for the scream of pain as the boar meat eroded  his esophagus. Nothing. Another bite. Still nothing. And then finally, an opinion.  "Seems OK. "  So there you have it. We now pronounce boar meat as "OK."  It might have been "Great " if this amateur chef had not over cooked it.

So Keith suggested we take some to our chefs and get their opinions. Brillant idea. The first chef was thrilled just with the package. "This is BOAR meat ?!?! I haven't been able to find this anywhere ! I've even called TEXAS !"  He was very happy to try it. Chef number two said " Boar meat ? Do you have it in the wagon now ?!" When I said no, we just brought a few chops he said "can you make a special delivery ? I'll buy all you have. " Chef number three acted as if we had given her a special Valentines gift. "For me ? You brought this boar meat for me ?"

Seems boar meat is a delicacy. Desired by chefs. Hard to find. Sought after. Coveted.
Really glad we didn't feed it to the dogs.

1 comment:

  1. From our experience, raising a boar for meat is ok if: 1. he is not penned in a small space, 2. He has never been around females of breeding age (gilts/sows). We had a boar piglet we were saving for a replacement sire herniate. He had been out with the gilts that we wanted bred. WE had to have him processed. The meat doesn't taste bad, but it gives the kitchen a funny smell when you cook. Pungent... that's probably the best word for the cooking odor. It disappears when the meat is cooked.
    That being said, our friends at Heritage Farm Northwest in Oregon had a a similar experience with the chefs/butchers they work with. It seems boar meat is a delicacy. Much sought after and they are willing to pay a premium for it.

    Go figure!

    I know that when my Grandfather raised hogs years ago the culled boars were sent to the "Salami" factory.