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What parts and how to cook squirrel
I was wondering what would you eat on a squirrel and also how would you cook them?
Cut squirrel up in quarters. Go to Squirreldog.com for recipies.
4 whole squirrels crockpot with bbq sauce.
All of it. Slow baking on low temp eliminates the toughness.
My grandmother loved to eat "the heads" as she called them. She was referring to the brains.
the young ones a great rolled in flower and fried just like chicken.
Yeah i thought frying might be good cause i know you do that with bunnies but i didn't know what parts you would eat or what so thanks guys
I keep the old ones seperate from the young ones. The old ones go in the slow cooker with BBQ sauce. The young ones get grill salt with cayanne, and go on the grill. I usually quarter them or split them just below the rib cage. That is some good eatin!
5 basic parts if you don't eat the heads (nothin bettern a couple squirrel heads, sans eyes, in a pot of blackeye peas!)
front les, back legs, lower back (includes lower spine and tenderloins/backstraps in one piece)
parboil to fork-tender, drain and dredge in seasond flour (1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper,1 tsp table salt per cup of plain flour) pan-fry til golden brown in skillet with olive oil or bacon-fat (put oil in the skillet to 1/16" deep, heat til a (very small, protect your eyes and stay away back) drop of water flicked into the skillet "pops" when flicked in ....add squirrel and fry on medium heat uncovered, 10 minutes to a side or to golden-brown (adjust heat so skillet doesn't smoke, may bneed to add a little oil if skillet is full and flour soaks up the oil) ...... make gravy in the drippings by adding 1 tbsp plain flour, a pinch salt, brown the flour lightly and add a cup of milk, stir milk with a fork til lumps are gone, stir gravy constantly with wooden spoon as it thickens to prevent sticking, serve over fried squirrel, on the side, or on biscuits yum!
All of the above recipes will work. Feel free to try something different as well. The older ones need a little longer.
Boy I feel better. I thought people in my family were the only ones that ate the heads. Yee haa!:)
dpd, my earliest childhood memory is of sitting on my momma's knee, at dinner, with her arms around me, cracking squirrel heads with the back of a tablespoon, and feeding me the brains and cheek-meat. I'm not sure how old I was, but I doubt I'd yet turned three year old ..... (by the way, my mom was considered by the community to be a "town-girl" as she grew up in the local "County-seat" town, (at that time, a population under 2,000 souls)and not on a farm). Imagine the memories I'd have if I was raised by a country-gal! :-)
Good lord...you guys need somebody to with a European grandmother to help ya cook. My grandmother emigrated from Sicily to West Virgina...so I think I am uniquely prepared for this squirrel issue. Cooking them just like rabbits works....for the larger older ones...make them Cacciatore Style..which literally translates as "hunter style" from Italian.
First brown the skinned quarters quickly in olive oil. Take them out of the pan and add a bunch of sliced onions...a few cloves of garlic, and some sliced peppers...cubanelle...green...whatever you have around. After the onions just start to turn brown...throw in a splash of red wine...and a large can of crushed plum tomatoes. Then nestle in your squirrel parts, turn to simmer...and cook til tender.
Serve with the gravy over polenta...if you live in the south and can't find polenta...grits work equally well.
I would fry them just for the gravy. It is the best gravy there iz.
I cook them in a crock pot along with potatoes, onions and carrots. I know a guy always left the head on when he skinned them, and then cooked the heads. His mom used a pair of nut crackers to open the skull to get the brains. I generally get a dozen or more per year while bowhuning and skin them, cut them in five pieces and stick them in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch in the crock pot. I can skin a squirrel in less than 30 seconds and have been doing it since I was a kid.
I always start with a pressure cooker for a bit and then roll in flour and fry. This makes them much more tender. There are a lot of good recipes out there though, the sweet and sticky rabbit recipe from terrible ted would be good too.
OK, just remember you asked for it!
Substitute squirrel; whole, quarted or pieces in the following...
Instead of deer straps, maybe whole crocked & BBQ squirel...
Add quatered squirrels in with stir fry...
Crock squirrel til soft and add to an egg drop soup...
Or, add BBQ squirrel pieces to pasta as a side dish...enjoy!
Roll in flour and brown in a fry pan. Salt and pepper Put it in a crock pot and add a can or two of your favorite cream of something soup (Mushroom,Cheese,Celery) Cook on low until tender, good recipe for rabbit also
LeeBuzz, that was just cruel. Here is is, 9:30 at night, and now I am hungry. Thanks a lot.
Best meat in the woods. Fuzzy's post brings back memories of squirrel and gravy meals with my grandparents. Only significant variation in our methods is I don't use milk for the pan gravy, but instead the broth in which the squirrels were boiled before frying them. Also I would emphasize the point others have made about different boiling times for squirrels of different ages -- maybe an hour for the young ones and 2-3 hours for old tough ones. This simple method is the highest and best use that I have found for squirrel, although they go pretty well in Brunswick stew (add a ham hock), and I may try some of LeeBuzz's ideas too. As for the brains, they are delicious, but I stopped eating them a few years ago due to reports from Kentucky of a few people with fatal spongiform encephalopathy having eaten squirrel brains.
A good time to kill them here in Virginia is January, as the squirrel season lasts a month past deer season, and it's a good way to get in some post-season scouting. It is also fun to kill them cutting hickory nuts in September, but I hate to do too much gun hunting right before archery deer season, to avoid making the deer go nocturnal any sooner than necessary.
edpurvis, I have also done the broth-gravy, and I love it, totally changes the character of the meal.... I make the milk-gravy when I'm having home made biscuits, the broth-gravy when I'm doing spicy pan-fried potatoes with onions, serve the gravy over the taters (peel, wash, and slice a pound of "Irish" potatoes, about 1/4" thick, boil the potatoes until a fork will just stick into the slices, melt a 1/4 stick real butter in a cast-iron skillet, add a large thick-sliced sweet onion, fry the onion on low heat until "clear" drain the potatoes and and brown in with the onion, add a dash or two of salt and plenty coarse-ground black pepper, and dash of cayenne if ya like it hot).... serve the squirrel on the side, and the gravy over the taters
Season squirrel quartes with Tony Chachere seasonig a day before cooking. Brown squirrel quarters in black pot. Remove squirrel pieces and saute the holoy trinity, onions garlic and bell pepper til soft. Add a can or two of beer and season to taste, also if thicker gravy wanted add roux. Cook on simmer til meat is tender checking every half hour too make sure all the liquid hasnt cooked off. Serve over rice, with your favorite beans or corn and french bread. Ca cest bon TC
tc2, sounds like that recipie takes about a 6 pack of beers? :-)
I have got to quit reading this thread just before I want to go to bed. You guys are making me hungry!
Fuzzy, thanks for that recipe--gravy on potatoes and onions sounds like it would go pretty good. By the way, my grandfather loved to eat squirrel gravy over spring lettuce. These were squirrels killed from cherry or mulberry trees in May and June, certainly out of season now (don't know what the squirrel season was in the 60's and 70's, and I don't think he cared).
Ed Purvis (playin' hookey is work handle)
I read with interest all the great recipes, and I have to agree squirrel can be great table fare.
Of course its best to shoot nothing but young squirrels, as the older ones can be tough. But how do you tell a young one from an old one?
Thats what I asked my Dad some 54 years ago.....
You see I was 9 years old at the time, and on my first squirrel hunt with my Dad and Uncle,setting between the two of them in my Uncles 1950 chevy truck.
My Dad told me...."Tommy, I don't want you shooting any old squirrels"......Sure enough I fell for the joke that was being played on me at my expense...
"Dad how do I tell an old squirrel from a young squirrel?" "Well Son you shake the limb until his nuts rattle, then you know you have an old squirrel up the tree." For many years,up until my fathers death, he always ask me if I'd shot any old squirrels lately.
My mom always cooked the legs and back in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes, then rolled them and fried them like chicken. Awesome.
Ed, I' not sure what game-laws were back then, but in many areas, small-game on private land was left up to the judgement of the landowner, also Kentucy (for one that I know of) has a Spring squirrel season, in June, that co-incides with the mulberries ripening, and falls between the normal spring and fall cohorts of young squirrels (ie: after the first litter is weaned, before the second litter is born)
not a bad idea as squirrels are a prolific species and "cropping"/hunting pressure tends to adjust itself to population density, as hunters tend to lose interest when popoulations are low, and vice/versa...I don't know what the warble-fly ("bots", or "wolves") situation is in spring/early summer, but I'm betting there aren't as many as in early fall
Beware of squirrel oysters.
LOL @ OHO ... I though hootowls ate em "oysters" and all, and chucked up the undigestible stuff? :-)
We ate a lot of squirrels in Central Missouri while I was growing up. A .22 or a target air rifle with a scope is just too easy. If you sell arrow shafts, have a business tournment for squirrels. Largest, smallest of both sexes; first and last squirrels of the day or week hunt. going to sell lots of arrows; especially on a trophy gray squirrel hunt in the old cedar timber. What a lesson for new guys. Don't let me lead you astray. Young squirrels taste the best, older ones need more care.
Fuzzy, thanks for that info -- I wasn't aware of Kentucky's June season. As for the "wolves", I have just removed those with the skin. Hopefully this doesn't risk getting some type of parasitic infection, especially since I boil them pretty well.
Fuzzy, even hootowls have their limits.
ED, I do tyhat too, I think boling them will kill anything you'd have to worry about, sometimes there's an "off" odor, (those go to the dogs) but usually they are fine.
Got two in the crock pot with BBQ sauce right now. Yum yum!