Corn chowder is pretty much everything you want in a steaming bowl in January. It’s sweet and salty and creamy and spicy.
Corn chowder is the stuff of the south that really says “home” during our (admittedly mild) winters. Don’t be fooled by this soup, though. Soup it may be; healthy it is not.
You may wonder what a vegetable soup is doing on a wild game blog. For the most part, I stick to venison on this blog, because for the most part that’s what adorns my deep freezer. However, El Gallo has taken to shooting hogs. Yes, sometimes they taste bad. Lucky for us, this hog tastes okay, so I try to use some of the fattier parts in place of bacon. I recognize that it doesn’t have that same smoky, cured bacon flavor. But you know what? I kind of hate the cured flavor and the fat renders out all the same.
A note about rendering wild hog fat. First, it takes a little longer to render than regular pieces of bacon. Patience, grasshopper. Second, the crispy bits don’t taste quite as good as bacon, especially the crispy bits that aren’t fatty at all. I separated the “meat” part out and garnished with a few pieces of just the crispy fat. At the end of the day, fried fat is still fried fat and still tastes good.
If you don’t happen to have any hog fat laying around, a little bit of pan/breakfast sausage will do the trick here. I’d fry it up, render the fat, get it all nice and crispy and then use it as a garnish. I bet if you left some bits of sausage in the actual chowder it would be pretty delicious too.
- 1/3lb Wild hog meat with fat attached (Chopped)
- 2 Small onions, or one large (diced)
- 1 Large red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 Small jalapenos (finely chopped with seeds and ribs removed)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 2lb red potatoes (cubed kind of small)
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 32oz frozen corn (I like roasted)
- pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 2 bay leaves
|In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, sauté the chunks of hog fat until crispy and the fat has rendered out. Remove the crispy pieces and reserve for later. There should be about 6-8 tablespoons of grease in the pan.|
|Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add the bell pepper, jalapenos and garlic and continue to cook until soft and fragrant. Add the flour and cook into the remaining fat and sauté for another 2 minutes.|
|Add the chicken stock and potatoes and simmer until potatoes become soft, about 8 minutes. Add the cream, corn, cayenne (if using) and bay leaf. Simmer another 15 minutes. Serve warm and garnish with the reserved pieces of crispy hog meat.|
Non-game substitution: Bacon!
Vegetarian Substitution: I would stick with a flavorful fat, like butter or olive oil, in place of the pork fat.