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  #1  
Old 10-17-2011, 10:49 PM
SevenCreeksSap SevenCreeksSap is offline
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Default Best way to cook squirrel?

I went squirrel hunting for the first time in 20 years and got three. I was going to make kabobs but ended up just spicing up a little and pan frying. Forgot they were good!!

What are some good ways to cook up 2 or 3 squirrels. Ideas?
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2011, 11:21 PM
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Grendal Male Grendal is offline
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Rotissary bbq....stick them on a metal pipe put them over a open fire and keep turning, slather them with your favorite bbq sauce while cooking them....Make sure their well cooked...Their a type of rodent...so always cook them well...just to make sure. There is a rodent plague, and they do sometimes carry west nile....so when in doubt....OVER COOK.

Make sure you soak them in vinegar. To draw out the gameyness.

If the squirrel was not too old it should be very tender and moist if cooked properly, like any other wild game will be. If old it'll be tough, stick em in a stew and cook for a few hours. Mostly dark meat .. has a chicken texture. It tastes a bit like chicken but also has that wild "gamey" flavor. It is hard to describe because it tastes like nothing else.

I got 2 good stew recipes....my babes don't know it's squirrel....


SQUIRREL STEW
3 squirrels
3 qt. water
1/4 c. diced bacon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped onions
4 c. cooked tomatoes, drained
2 c. diced potatoes
2 c. lima beans
2 c. corn
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cut the squirrel into serving pieces and place in a large pan; add the water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours or until squirrels are tender, skimming surface occasionally. Remove squirrel meat from bones and return to liquid; add the bacon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and lima beans; cook for 1 hour. Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes longer.


Cajun stew

4 squirrels, cut into pieces
1 c. chopped onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 c. burgundy wine
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. flour
1 stick butter
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. chopped onion tops
4 oz. or more mushrooms
creole seasoning
Hot sauce (Frank's lousianna works in a pinch)

Cut each squirrel into 8 pieces. Season with creole seasoning. Melt butter in a Dutch oven and fry squirrel pieces until browned all over (and starts to stick to the pot). Add a cup of chopped onions, 1/2 cup of bell peppers and 4 cloves of garlic. When vegetables are soft, add a small amount of cold water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover pot and let simmer one hour. Stir well, add 1/2 cup wine. Cook until tender. Add flour to mushroom liquid, onion tops, parsley and mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes. Combine with squirrels. Add half bottle of hot sauce.



Cakes, pot pies, pie, fried, sauteed, roasted, gumbo, jambalya, dumplings, gravy, fricassee, bbq, baked, bread, calzone, pizza, sausage, smoked, pan-fried, jerkied, etc etc...the list goes on...Many recipes in my arsenal for squirrel, thems a good eaten.
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:55 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Squirrel and many other small game animals can be handled just like tough chicken. Use the same recipes, just account for a longer cooking time for the meat. And that they are lower in fat content than domestic animals.

Around here, game animal and rice is called a slow down.

Cut up the beaver, rabbit, squirrel, groundhog, deer, etc. into pieces. Wash through several changes of water to remove as much blood as possible. I use a stock pot, filling with cold water, swishing around the pieces of meat. Dumping water and doing it again, until the dumped water is clear.

Soak overnight in water with a good splash of white vinegar added. Refrigerate or put in a cooler with ice water if you don't have refrigerator space.

Put in a pot, cover with fresh water. Add salt, black pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (if desired). Add a good sized glob of butter. Bring to a boil and let simmer until the meat is tender and ready to fall off the bone.

Remove the meat, cool enough to handle and debone. Tear into bite sized pieces. Return to the simmering broth. Add white or brown rice and cook until the rice is done. I prefer brown rice as the flavor melds nicely with game meat. Taste and add more seasonings, if needed.

No quantities given as these have to be adjusted to the number, size, and type animals used.

Optional/Alternatives:
Add diced potatoes instead of rice.
Add fresh diced vegetables or add a can or two of Veg-All.
Add diced onion or onion flakes.
Add chicken stock or Herb Ox chicken boullion for extra flavor.
Add diced tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes if you want a spicy touch.
Add other herbs and spices, according to what you like. Dry or fresh.

After deboning, use the meat just as you'd use cooked chicken. Squirrel salad, Squirrel pot pies, Squirrel chili with or without beans. Freeze the broth/stock to use in vegetable soups, pots of beans instead of chicken stock. More flavor.

Edit: Forgot to mention, if cooking with dry heat methods just lower the heat. Standard 350 is too hot, in most cases. Depending on how you're cooking, use "low & slow" BBQ techniques, whether in the oven or on a grill. Doesn't matter if it's wrapped in foil on the grill, or in a covered roaster in the oven, the basic techniques are the same.

Lee
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Last edited by NCLee; 10-18-2011 at 09:02 AM.
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:11 PM
SevenCreeksSap SevenCreeksSap is offline
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Thanks!! That was a lot of typing for both of you and I'll print those off and use them. I did notice a little gaminess and they do have a distinct flavor. I was a little surprised the wife liked it too. these recipes should definitely improve on what we did.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:20 PM
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Ever want another recipe, feel free to let me know.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:10 AM
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Hello, I cook my squirrel just like chicken and dumplings. No different method. I know that sounds really simple and salt and pepper is the only seasonings I use, but sometimes less is better, IMHO. Even put in the head for extra broth strength, but that's the hound dog's supper.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2011, 12:23 PM
mozarkian mozarkian is offline
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If they are young squirrels, we like to just roll them in seasoned flour and fry them in bacon grease until golden brown-- like fried chicken. If you are also fortunate enough to have found some wild mushrooms, fry those first and then fry the squirrel in the same grease. Yummy!
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2011, 10:35 AM
LouKy Female LouKy is offline
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I like my squirrel just fried up like chicken.

I was always told though that you shouldn't use the head because there's some sort of a nerve disease you can get. Has anyone else ever heard of that? I wouldn't use the head anyway, just because it doesn't appeal to me. but I especially wouldn't use it if there's a disease you can get.
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2011, 02:16 PM
mozarkian mozarkian is offline
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My dad used to skin and fry the squirrels head with the rest of the squirrel. I can remember as a very young child him eating the tongue and then cracking the head open with a butter knife and feeding me the squirrel brains. I have not had that since my dad died in '88 because my husband shoots them in the head to keep me from cooking the head-LOL The brains are very good actually.

Have no idea about any nerve disease-- I doubt that you could catch anything from it if cooked thoroughly though.

Last edited by mozarkian; 11-07-2011 at 02:17 PM. Reason: addition
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2011, 07:10 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Don't know for 100% sure, but I think this is a reaction to the outbreak of Mad Cow disease. Seems that all animals have been tagged, by the general population, with the potential to have that problem.

One point.... in order to be infected from the disease, the animal in question needs to consume the brain/spinal cord of another infected animal.

At least that's my understanding.

What's the odds that a squirrel on your place has eaten infected cow central nervous system parts? How long as it been since there's been a news report of an infected cow here in the US?

FWIW, I buy canned pork brains from time to time and cook them up with scrambled eggs. Can't do that often due the the cholestrol overload. (sigh) Mentioned that because I wouldn't hesitate to eat the heads of any game animal, if I liked it, because of the outbreak of Mad Cow disease a few years ago.

Just 2-cents.
Lee
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2011, 04:47 PM
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The problem is, plague...Rodents, cats, rabbits, squirrels, related animals.They carry a bacteria, that can be transmitted by fleas, and handling infected animals.

It's also not squirrel eating a cow...they sometimes develop a variant of mad cow disease.

The reason there is hunting seasons on squirrels, is cause squirrels can ingest the tapeworm eggs that are present in dog faeces. These eggs can hatch inside the animal and the larvae can migrate to all parts of the animal's body, within the tissues. If eaten, well makes for an unpleasant conversation with your doctor.

You should look for the signs wich include a bad smell, discoloration and the appearance of abscesses in the meat.

I know I mentioned rabbits, rabbits have a common disease called tularemia. It effects their eyes and if you eat them and their not thouroughly cooked, you can get it as well.

It's the prions that reside in the squirrel that causes the "mad cow disease". It resides in their brains and their bones.

So to basically recap, brains are best left to zombies, and to thoroughly check over the meat and cook it good.

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/29/us...ls-brains.html
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2011, 07:29 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Plague - there was 1 case reported in the US for 2010.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague

Squirrels - from your link.
Quote:
Although no squirrels have been tested for mad squirrel disease, there is reason to believe that they could be infected, said Dr. Joseph Berger, chairman of the neurology department at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Elk, deer, mink, rodents and other wild animals are known to develop variants of mad cow disease that collectively are called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (mentioned in the link)
Quote:
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative, invariably fatal brain disorder. It affects about one person in every one million people per year worldwide; in the United States there are about 200 cases per year.
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cjd/detail_cjd.htm
Article notes 3 major catatories. First one is that it appears in about 85% of all cases with no known risk factors. Next: quote: "About 5 to 10 percent of cases of CJD in the United States are hereditary." Third: disease transmitted by exposure to brain/nervous system tissue. quote: "Since CJD was first described in 1920, fewer than 1 percent of cases have been acquired CJD."

Yes, it's possible to become sick from eating wild game. For example, while helping to skin a deer the other day, picked up a couple of ticks that were still on it.

Yes, it's necessary to properly handle - from prep to cooking, any food, regardless of whether it's grown in the backyard, bought at the store, or from the woods behind the house.

It's still my opinion that many people have a much, much greater fear of "mad cow" disease than probability indicates. FWIW, and still my opinion, I'm more afraid of chicken from the grocery store than I am of getting sick from any wild game in the fields and woods around here.

Just my 2-cents, YMMV.

Lee
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2011, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCLee View Post
I'm more afraid of chicken from the grocery store than I am of getting sick from any wild game in the fields and woods around here.
I'm more terrified of going into a supermarket...never mind eating the products lol!
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:35 AM
mozarkian mozarkian is offline
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Lee, I agree-- wild game (or home grown) meat of anykind cannot be as risky as the meat counter crap
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