A friend of mine lives a block away fromRufus 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.
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.
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.
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.
Word is Rufus may be doing venison in the coming weeks. Give a call for availability.
206 S. Federal Hwy.,
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