Try Our Favorite Squirrel Recipe
Many hunters take a look at the hunting regulations guide for their state and just glance over the part about squirrels despite many areas in the Northeast having open season on them all year long.
For many, a squirrel just happens to be that noisy critter that is constantly running through the leaf piles and disturbing the tranquility of a nice hunt in the fall and chittering and squawking like mad whenever a sportsman enters the woods.
What you might not realize, however, is that squirrel can prove to be one tasty little dish. With the sheer amount of them in a variety of places, it often is not hard to take a few while out for the morning or afternoon and have them in a pot and ready for eating for dinner that evening.
There are a variety of ways to cook them up and enjoy them, from simple pan frying to roasting and even grilling them. One way that we particularly enjoy is turning squirrel into a nice stew.
First and foremost, go out and bag yourself three squirrels. Depending on the day, that might take as little as an hour or less. Skin them, dress them and quarter them. Fresh meat, in our opinion, is the best to cook with, but you can refrigerate or freeze squirrel meat like any other game you hunt. Just prep it, wrap it up and store it away for future use.
Besides the squirrel meat, here is what else you are going to want to gather for one heck of a stew.
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 potatoes, cubed
5 cups water
Quarter cup red wine
4 strips thick cut bacon, diced
Three Quarter cup flour
Half stick of butter
Salt and pepper
Once you have got everything ready to go, grab your squirrel meat and rub it down with a nice mixture of salt and pepper. We like to use fresh ground pepper out of a mill and some kosher or some sea salt. The former is because of the taste and the latter is because of the ease of use and it reduces the chance of over salting.
Grab a pan, preferably a cast iron Dutch oven, but you can use any strong stock pan and heat it over the stove on medium high heat. Drop the butter in and let it begin to melt and toss in the diced up bacon.
While that starts to warm up, roll your squirrel meat in flour and then toss it in the pan. You are going to want to let the meat brown up nice and evenly. Avoid rolling it around too much. The brown bits of flour will just mix in well with the stew base and help give it that golden color.
Once the meat is browned, remove it from the heat and set it aside. Toss in the garlic, onion, pepper and celery and saute until the veggies are soft and the onion is translucent.
Add the meat back to the pan, add the water and the potatoes and bring to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering for about two hours.
Use a pair of prongs and pull the squirrel pieces out of the pot. Use a fork to pull the meat from the bone and return back to the pot. Discard the bones.
Turn the heat back to medium high, add the wine and bring back to a boil before reducing heat and simmering for a final 15 minutes.
If the stew is not as thick as you would like, add some corn starch to a half cup of milk and mix and then add to the pot while stirring.
Serve while hot.