Summary: The more enlightened have learned that a good squirrel recipe and a little seasoning can make squirrel the specialty of the house.
They are everyday urban creatures we hardly give a second thought unless they are tearing a hole in your roof. They are grey squirrels and they may be destined to become an important food staple as world populations grow and lack of rainfall reduces our ability to produce enough food to feed everyone.
There are already arguments cropping up about whether we should start mass marketing squirrels meat. People in favor say that squirrel meat is low in fat and that it would even be patriotic because there would be no need to import squirrels from other countries. Those in favor have also pointed out that the grey squirrel has been taking over the territories of the more favored red squirrel. Trapping grey squirrels to sell to market would help the red squirrel population rebound.
Those voting against bringing the grey squirrel to market argue that as soon as it becomes part of our mainstream diet they would have to be farmed raised to meet the demand. Once they are farm raised they become subject to the same issues we have with all of our farms. Over-crowded pens with too much feces and a need to feed the animals food with additives to prevent illnesses and make them fatter, faster. Ah, progress!
For many of us we need to get by the œyuk factor. After being told our entire lives that squirrels are close relatives of rats, it is kind of difficult to have one served up on a plate in front of you. I don't think I could begin to eat one if it in any way resembled the animal as when we eat a whole chicken. But, properly prepared I would be game to try. So, let's explore the proper preparation of grey squirrel. I am going to skip over the part where you or a friend trap or shoot the squirrel. I am also going to omit the preparation of the squirrel other than to say who ever kills it best know how to properly field dress it and remove all the hair. Otherwise, I guarantee you are not going to enjoy this meal.
Now that the messy part is past us, you must decide upon the meal. Filet or stew? If you are looking to have meat on your plate you are going to need a young squirrel that will provide a sweet, tender, dark flavorful meat. An older squirrel will result in tougher meat that should be used in a stew. The younger squirrels can be grilled to perfection. It is greasier than rabbit and somewhat darker, but the flavor is just as good.
Now for a few recipes. Let's begin with something simple.
Place the squirrels you wish to cook in a large pot. Cover with water and add plenty of seasoned salt. Boil covered for two hours.
Lay two large pieces of heavy duty tinfoil across each other on top of a large serving tray. Remove squirrels from pot and place them on the tinfoil and serving tray.
Add 1 cup broth and cut into pads 2 tablespoons butter and distribute them evenly over the tinfoil. Fold edges of tinfoil over squirrels and place tinfoil and squirrels on grill over low charcoal fire. Cook for 45 minutes.
Remove squirrels from tinfoil and place directly on grill. Brush on barbecue sauce and cook for another 15 minutes.
Remove and serve.
5 - 6 squirrels
1 bag egg noodles
2 cups corn flakes
1 stick butter, divided
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup flour
2 cans chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Durkee's French fried onions
Boil the squirrels in a large pot until the meat starts to fall off the bones. Remove and cool. When cool debone. Set aside.
While the squirrels are cooking, cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt 1/4 stick of butter. Stir in the cornflakes, garlic powder and onion powder. Heat until crispy.
Spread the cornflakes in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.
In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Add the flour and brown just a little. Add the chicken broth and stir until thick.
Remove from heat and add the thyme, salt, pepper, squirrel meat and noodles. Mix well.
Pour the mixture evenly over the cornflakes. Top with the cheese and the fried onions.
Bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Serve and enjoy.
Bacon Wrapped Squirrel
squirrel legs, front or rear, amount depends upon how hungry you are
hickory smoked bacon
Soak the legs in beer for 2 “ 3 hours. Remove and drain.
Sprinkle to taste with garlic powder, pepper, salt and the minced onion.
Wrap each leg with bacon.
Place on hot grill. Cook over medium heat until cooked through.
Serve with your favorite sides.
1 squirrel, quartered
1 cup diced onion
2 large tomatoes (from your garden) or 1 can of tomatoes
assorted fresh or canned veggies
Sprinkle seasoned salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (optional) liberally on the meat.
Pour some cooking oil into a large pot (Dutch oven).
SautÃ© the meat with the onions until well browned.
Drain the excess oil, add about 2 cups water, and bring to a boil.
Cut up tomatoes and add. If you use canned tomatoes add them now.
Turn down the heat, and let slow cook for at least an hour. (Older squirrels may require cooking longer than an hour. Check periodically for tenderness)
After the meat is tender, add the veggies, carrots, potatoes, banana pepper.
Cook until the veggies are done.
Sounds better and better doesn't it? Grab your shotgun, kids. We're going squirrel hunting. Call the neighbors. Party at our house tonight!