The old boar is worried.

He didn't get up to three hundred pounds by being naive or careless and something ain't sitting right with what's going on in the big house on the hill.

The couple in the home are ex-Austinites. They're fed up with big city life and looking to settle down out in the country away from the relentless thrum that's carrying Travis county along in this new century.

The man was born to hunt and is looking forward to cleaning out the woods of the wild boars that have carved paths out of the underbrush beneath the towering oaks and hickory trees on his ten acre lot near Gilmer, Texas.

3 am a week later and in the middle of a wild, Texas lightning storm the man drags a plastic tarp out of the shed and lays it down on the patio. Under flashing blue and white arcs of light he quickly hones his big buck knife on the whet stone and gets ready to finish cleaning the hog.

The old pig didn't go easy.

He knew instinctively to avoid the wooden trays of honey buns and fresh corn on the cob that the man had set out beneath a hidden deer stand nailed up 15 feet high in an old oak tree.

But he got hungry and it was late and surely who ever had put the feast out was tucked away in bed on this dark, miserable night.

CRACK! The round from the 30.06 tears right through the thick, fibrous pad that protects wild boars from neck shots. The man is an expert marksman who grew up in the big piney woods near Beaumont and knows exactly where to place the round to make sure he won't need to wake his hound up to track a big, wounded boar hog through the woods on a stormy night.

He clambers down from the deer stand and quickly eviscerates the creature. After field dressing the animal he hog ties him and hooks the pig up to a harness clipped to his shoulders so he can drag the pig back to the house. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is how I came to have a fridge filled with wild boar hog. My buddy Dan left Austin a few months ago to get out in the country and away from city life. He's a hunter and a fisherman of the first order. The above is a narrative of his tale of how he came to take down a big wild boar hog that was living in the woods on his lot.

Below is my recipe for a Texas Wild Boar Hog Stew. It is absolutely delicious.

Ingredients

1 6 lb Shoulder, Texas Wild Boar Hog

3 lbs Onion, Texas sweet, sliced

3 lbs Potatoes, redskins, quartered

2 c. Stock, chicken

2. T. Worcestershire [Implemented on the advice of my dad]

2 T. Fat, Bacon

Salt + Pepper to taste

Method

* Heat big cast iron pan with bacon fat

* Char salted, peppered shoulder thoroughly on both sides

* Place onions in bottom of big kettle with stock

* Place shoulder on bed of onions

* Add worcestershire

* Braise 3 hours at 225 degrees

* Remove shoulder, add potatoes, place shoulder on bed of potatoes

* Cook two more hours or til meat is tender

* At end of cooking process remove large serving spoon of potatoes, mash thoroughly, return to kettle and blend into sauce

* This will thicken the chicken stock

Voila!

This stew is wonderful. The meat is akin to the best beef chuck roast I've ever had. The onions are silky, the potatoes creamy and the boar hog, plastic spoon tender. I'm not a big Worcestershire fan but it definitely gives this dish a big umami boost.

Can't get your hands on a wild boar? You could use a regular pork shoulder like what you purchase at a grocery store but we've got a serious wild boar hog problem in Texas so anything we can do to lighten their population is a good step toward solving that problem.

Bon Appetit Y'all

pic: http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2012/3/14