My friend Dr. Ray Hambuchen of Conway Arkansas has an impressive sausage making and dry curing operation in his suburban garage. Every year around this time he clears his freezers and walk-in (yes, he has a walk-in in his garage) of last year’s surplus venison sausage, wild boar hams and the rest to make room for the next season’s wild game products. I am often the lucky recipient of Dr. Ray’s largesse.
Like most country hams, the wild boar version is extremely salty. Eating it for breakfast makes me very thirsty. But its stout flavor and high salt content makes it the perfect seasoning for soups, beans and fresh peas. If you want to learn how to make venison sausage or cure your wild boar legs to make country ham, I would suggest that you visit Allied Kenco in Houston.
Creamer Peas with Wild Boar Country Ham
One and a half pounds fresh shelled creamer peas
4 slices of wild boar country ham, or bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chile pepper, whole
Quart chicken stock
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Rinse the fresh peas and drain in a colander. In a small soup pot, over medium heat saute the chopped ham or bacon, onion and garlic. Cook until the bacon starts to render some fat and the onions are translucent. Add the peas and the pepper and cover with chicken stock. Season with pepper. Bring the peas to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are firm/tender, about an hour. When the peas are done place in a serving bowl and add additional salt and pepper if needed.