December 2017
Your Next Meal From the Wildside

“Oh, A-Hunting We Will Go”

Nourish kids not only with food from the great outdoors but also with love and appreciation for the bounty of nature.

Checking traps is one of Rolley Len and Cason’s favorite things to do outside. They both like catching fish and turtles in the pond, but, when it comes to checking pens for wild boars at the hunting camp, Rolley Len is more interested than Cason in what has been trapped. For a 7-year-old, checking hog traps is a pretty big commitment. It’s an ongoing responsibility as they must be checked often. I also think he likes checking the pond traps better because he prefers tender, flaky fish over the sometimes-tougher wild pork.

Hunting takes diligence and commitment, no matter what game you are trying to bring home. Getting your children to invest in your own personal commitment to put food on the table can take some time. Friends and family can provide the training. But for children to have a lifelong love of hunting and fishing, they have to feel it deep inside them, as well. Besides taking Rolley Len and Cason into the woods, to the lake and anywhere else our next meal could be found is to share the hunting experience through books, movies and videos.

Before they learned to read, we watched "The Fox and the Hound" over and over. They watched live hunting videos with their father, Jason, almost nightly. They also sat in his lap and flipped through magazines with photos of wild boar and large game hunts. Not only did they learn about hunting, they got to spend quality time with their daddy. As they have gotten older, the movies and books have changed, but they still love some of the ones they watched or listened to when they were small.

Experiencing the outdoors through books can take them to places they may not be able to go to until the next hunting season. These books feed their love for hunting and fishing, and spending time with family and friends. I know sharing movies and stories with Rolley Len and Cason over time has helped them become invested in our commitment to bring home our next meal from the great outdoors.

 If you have some special young people, or even adults, in your life that you want to share your love for hunting with, here is a list of some top hunting books for all ages. What better gift could there be for Christmas than a book that brings your family together?

"Oh, A-Hunting We Will Go" by John Landstaff (ages 4-9)

"Deer Hunting with Daddy" by Jenna Johnston (ages 4-9)

"Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls (age 9 and up, but Cason is 7 and loves the movie version)

For teens and adults:

"The Fox and the Hound." The 1996 novel by Daniel P. Mannix is over 200 pages and absolutely for mature readers. It tells the story from the animals’ perspectives and is very true to real life in the wild, as well as human nature. For the children, there are shorter, child-friendly versions of the story as well as the Disney movie based on the novel.

"The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food" by Jackson Landers

"Green Hills of Africa" by Ernest Hemingway

"How to Bag the Biggest Buck of Your Life" by Larry Benoit

 

CROCKPOT WILD HOG BACKSTRAP

Onion, sliced in thin circles
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1-2 pounds large pork backstrap, cubed into bite-size chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
¾ cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup sour cream

In a large crockpot, place onion slices. Add mushrooms. Add pork. Generously sprinkle meat with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, spoon soup. Add chicken broth. Stir until smooth. Add Worcestershire sauce. Stir. Pour soup mixture into crockpot and cover.

Cook on high. After about 2 hours, turn it down to low. Cook for 2 more hours. (Adjust cooking times depending on crockpot and how much time you have before you want to eat.) It is ready when onions and mushrooms are tender, meat is fully cooked and tender, and soup is very saucy.

Turn off crockpot. Add sour cream. Stir until combined.

Note: This is really good served over mashed potatoes.

 

PULLED PORK

 

Wild hog pulled pork

Spray cooking oil
4 pound wild boar roast, halved to fit in crockpot
1¾ cups ketchup
¼ cup brown sugar, or to taste
¼-½ cup beef broth
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 shakes hot sauce, or to taste

Spray a large crock pot with vegetable oil. Add roast. In a bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together. Pour over roast. Cover. Cook on low until meat shreds easily with a fork, about 7 hours; 8-10 hours on high if frozen. If meat is dry, add more beef broth.

Shred and serve on buns or corncakes.

 

SPICY ROOT BEER PORK ROAST

3 pound wild boar roast, trimmed of fat, rinsed and patted dry
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 large red onion, sliced
2 cups root beer, canned or bottled
3 Tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Season roast with salt and pepper. In crockpot, place roast. Add all other ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Remove meat from crockpot. Shred with a fork. Top with Spicy Root Beer Barbecue Sauce (recipe included).

 

SPICY ROOT BEER BBQ SAUCE

3 cups root beer (not diet)
1 cup bottled chili sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic paste
¼ teaspoon root beer concentrate (in the spice aisle)

In medium saucepan, combine root beer, chili sauce, cayenne and garlic paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add root beer concentrate and stir. Cook uncovered at a low boil for 20-30 minutes, stirring often. Sauce should reduce by almost 2 cups. Remove from heat. Serve on top of pulled pork.

 

Christy Kirk is a freelance writer who lives in Little Texas.