By Nancy Jo Adams

During the Fourth of July, a celebration of our great nation in the midst of the dog days of summer, backyard barbecues, fireworks, family, and friends are on the agenda. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the amount of red meat and pork purchased in the week leading up to this holiday exceeds 190 million pounds, and we haven’t even mentioned chicken products.

For a hunting household, this holiday usually means sharing your harvest with family and friends. There are over a hundred ways to prepare wild game but being the Fourth of July, barbecue or grilled meat is only fitting for the festivities. Here are two delicious wild game recipes, one in the crockpot and one on the grill, that even the most delicate of palates will find divine.

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Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Wild Pork

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 wild pork quarter
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 extra large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme

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Directions:

Drizzle the vegetable oil onto the cooking surface bottom of a slow cooker, coating it. Place the wild pork quarter into the slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth with the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Pour this mixture over the wild pork quarter. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or high 3-4 hours until the pork shreds easily with a fork. Shred the wild pork in the slow cooker; you may have to remove it to shred, reserving the liquid. Once shredded, return the shredded wild pork to the liquid in the crock pot, stir well. Serve on a lightly toasted hamburger bun with pickle slices or as shredded barbecue with potato salad, fries, or chips. For a southern style barbecue pork sandwich, add coleslaw on top of the wild barbecue pork.

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Rosemary Ranch Wild Turkey Breast Kabobs

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup of ranch dressing
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 large wild turkey breast
  • Bamboo Skewers

Directions:

Place bamboo skewers in water to soak for at least 30 minutes to keep from burning on the grill. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and white vinegar. Let stand for five minutes. Cut wild turkey breast into skewer sized pieces. Place wild turkey breast in a bowl, stir to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, stir to further coat. Place meat on skewers, leaving no room between each piece and at least one inch on both ends of the skewers. You can add any vegetable pieces in between wild turkey pieces if you wish. Place skewers on grill, medium-high heat, for 10-12 minutes, turning once. Be cautious not to overcook; wild turkey meat will cook quickly. (Inspired by T. Spencer at allrecipes)

After a day of festivities and great memories visiting with family and friends, watching kids frolic with sparklers, or simply sitting in the shade watching your quart Mason jar of iced sweet tea sweat in the heat, be grateful for not only the freedom of our nation, but also for the freedom to hunt wild game. Happy Fourth of July.