Wild Hog Barbecue at Rufus Ribs

A meaty scrap of hog ribs coated in Rufus' sauce.
A meaty scrap of hog ribs coated in Rufus' sauce.
John Linn

A friend of mine lives a block away from

Rufus Ribs

, a roadside barbecue trailer with an outdoor smoker in Boynton Beach. He's there pretty much every week, gobbling down styrofoam containers full of meaty spare ribs and pulled pork. But for the past week, he's been telling me about owner Rufus Allen's latest "catch": a wild hog straight from the woods of Kissimmee.

See, Allen is no stranger to smoking wild game. The promise of wild hog and venison marks his menu, but I've never seen him have it in stock. When I heard the rib hut was going to have the hog smoked by Saturday, I knew I had to design my weekend around it.

That's a full container.
That's a full container.
John Linn

I trekked down to the metal trailer on Saturday evening and ordered

a dinner portion of smoked hog loin with collard greens and mac and

cheese. I wasn't sure what the piece would look like, so I was shocked

when I saw the size of the hunk Allen's wife had slipped into my to-go

box. Screw hog: This looked like mastodon. The piece was more

than six inches long and as wide around as a fire extinguisher. A long

bone poked out of one end, making a great handle for picking up the

whole piece. I felt like a caveman chomping into it.

The hog doesn't look any less savage once plated.
The hog doesn't look any less savage once plated.
John Linn

I'd never

had wild hog before. The meat is dark and lean, and it tastes of

very clean, powerful pork. Though there was pretty much no fat on the

piece I had, it had a real lip-smacking quality -- the low, slow

smoking process liquefied all the connective tissue in the meat,

rendering it into tasty gelatin. The flesh practically glistened. We paired the savory hog with a couple of pints of my friend's homebrewed honey IPA, a bitter, hoppy beer infused with a few pounds of honey. It cut right through the strong meat like a Ginsu. 

Succulent bits tore off by hand easily.
Succulent bits tore off by hand easily.
John Linn

I chomped and poked at the odd-sized

piece, gnawing on bones until I'd stripped them of every last bit of

hoggy goodness. I'd be ashamed to show how clean I got those bones if

the damned thing weren't so tasty. Actually, I'm sort of proud.

Them bones are clean. I was full.
Them bones are clean. I was full.
John Linn

Word is Rufus may be doing venison in the coming weeks. Give a call for availability.

Rufus Ribs

206 S. Federal Hwy.,

Boynton Beach

561-932-8206


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