Grilled Red Wattle with Apples, Onions and Sage

Thick-cut, locally pastured Red Wattle pork chops are marinated overnight in fresh apple juice, garlic, sage, sea salt and black pepper, then grilled over an open wood fire to medium doneness.  The tender, moist chops are served with a glaze of caramelized onions and apples with a side of roasted baby Brussels sprouts with croûtons..

“The Red Wattle hog is a large, red hog with a fleshy, decorative, wattle attached to each side of its neck that has no known function.  The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is considered scientifically obscure, though many different ancestral stories are known.  One theory is that the French colonists brought the Red Wattle Hogs to the United States from New Caledonia Island off the coast of Australia in the late 1700’s.  As they adapted well to the land, the Red Wattle quickly became a popular breed in the US.

Unfortunately, as settlers moved west, the breed began to fall out of favor because settlers came into contact with breeds that boasted a higher fat content, which was important for lard and soap.  Red Wattles were left to roam the hills of eastern Texas, where they were hunted to near extinction, until Mr. H.C. Wengler came across a herd in the dense forest and began breeding them into what they are today. Five year later, in a similar incident, Robert Prentice located another herd of Red Wattle hogs, which became known as the Timberline herd, after its wooded origins in eastern Texas…

Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.”  –Slow Food USA