Friday, May 13, 2016

Wild Boar and Jackrabbit Tortilla Soup

"Oh god, you're not one of those 'Stalking the Wild Asparagus' guys are you?" - Sassafras

"Oh hell yes I am. I hunt, fish, and definitely eat the weeds!"- Me

I just got back from two weeks abroad in Mongolia. I absolutely love that country, its people, culture, food and history! Unfortunately my go-to camera finally died on the trip. Luckily it was an old model so I found a replacement for next to nothing...currently in the mail. In the meantime, some of these images were taken with my old flip phone so resolution is less than astounding.

Now that I am mostly caught up with work and school, it's time to share another foraging adventure with you.

Before leaving for Asia, I got out for my standard rabbit hunt...and was quite successful.

I froze much of the meat after butchering it out with stone tools for my research.

However, one of my first meals upon returning from the far side of the world was one I have intended to make for months: Mexican Rabbit Tortilla Soup.

I realize this is not the best image...but I am doing my best with sub-par photo gear for the next week. That being said, this was one of the most fantastic recipes I have ever had when it comes to jackrabbit! I will be writing this recipe up for the North Coast Journal (a Humboldt County newspaper/online paper I have been doing some freelance work with over the past few months). This meal was flavorful, spicy, and the perfect combination of textures: crunchy diced white onion, buttery-rich avocado, cilantro, sour cream, habanero pepper jack, crispy fried tortilla strips, and incredibly tender rabbit meat! I was very pleased with the outcome!

But more importantly, my brother has been making great things happen back home! The other day he and our buddy Eric got out for a wild boar hunt. They tracked all day and though the sign was clearly fresh and Justin had seen a few early on, as hard as they hiked and hunted they could not find the herd. Finally they located the pigs and after stalking here and there Justin lined up on a massive 300lbs boar. The shot was true (as is often the case when my brother shoots) and the massive boar was brought down with the single well-placed bullet.

Justin and Eric cleaned and butchered with Justin's homemade knife which still shaved hair by the end of the process. Talk about a well tempered edge!

After cleaning the animal, the pair set to saving top choice cuts such as chops and loins while the following day was spent grinding the remainder into the highest quality locally-harvested and sustainable Italian sausage. Which Justin joked about eating raw! * Just so you don't ever try that, wild boar absolutely needs to be cooked through to be safe. But when you do cook it properly, it is one of our all time favorite wild meats!

Justin has been enjoying his homemade boar sausage with his home-raised eggs from the chicken coop he and his wife have in the backyard, and homemade plum jam they made last season. Really not a bad sounding way to start the day in my opinion!

Well, we're headed back to the sea in search of a little freedive fun and maybe, if she blesses us with a catch, I will share a seafood story soon!

Wish us luck!

Keep the old ways alive!

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