Recipe and Photo By Kelly Yandell, themeaningofpie.com
Breakfast sausage is the perfect way to introduce yourself to wild boar if you haven’t tried it. Wild boar or feral hogs are problematically abundant in Texas. Ask any farmer or rancher. There is no shortage of high quality consumable protein running around the state wreaking havoc on crops and land. More chefs and home cooks are warming up to using this wild meat to create unique and delicious foods. The flavor is slightly nuttier and sweeter than farmraised pork and not even remotely gamey. It is also leaner. But for the purpose of sausage, sous chef Matt Balke of Bolsa Mercado suggests cutting the boar with domestic pork to, among other things, increase the fat content, which is so important for the taste of breakfast patties.
Makes 30 patties
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon fine black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound wild boar, cut into chunks
1 pound domestic boneless pork shoulder, cut into chunks 6 ounces pork fat
(ask your butcher to add good scrap fat to your shoulder order)
- In a mortar and pestle, grind the spices together and mix them thoroughly. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a large food processor, combine the wild boar, pork shoulder and pork fat. Process the meat until it is thoroughly combined and uniformly ground. There should not be large chunks of meat or fat. With the processor running, add the spice mixture through the feed tube and allow it to become completely mixed into the meat.
- Remove the sausage meat from the processor and form the meat into patties.
- In a skillet, cook the sausage patties on both sides until it is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink inside.
Notes: To test the seasoning of the sausage, remove a small portion of the pork from the food processor and cook it in the skillet. Taste the sausage and adjust the seasoning of the remaining meat. For a variation, try other herbs such as marjoram and thyme, or add chopped dried cherries or other dried fruits. This sausage is perfect for freezing.
Purchase USDA-inspected wild boar online through Broken Arrow Ranch (brokenarrowranch.com) or in Dallas at Bolsa Mercado.
KELLY YANDELL is a writer and photographer based in Dallas. She has contributed to Edible Dallas & Fort Worth since 2011. Her website (themeaningofpie.com) celebrates practical dishes and comfort foods, while her photography portfolio can be found at kellyyandell.com. Kelly is an attorney and is the vice president of the Advisory Board of Foodways Texas, an organization founded by scholars, chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, farmers, ranchers, and other citizens of the state of Texas who have made it their mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas.