Friday, November 6, 2009

Squirrel and Leeks

Last night I planned to make squirrel gravy, but instead opted to try something a little different.

Larry had been squirrel hunting recently and brought a couple home. Now I know many people cannot envision eating squirrel, but for those who have tasted it, you know it's an amazing meat, tender and tasty and better for you than many other meats.

We have plenty of leeks in the cellar. Leeks are a member of the onion (allium) family and they grow tall, like an extreme version of a green onion. Their growing season is long too, so they are in the garden a long time. After looking into various storage/preserving options, we decided to simply pull our leeks and put them in the cellar. So far they are keeping well. I'd like to try drying some too and may give it a try this weekend.

I started this recipe on Sunday, actually, by cooking the squirrels. I put them in a pan, cover them with water and add bay leaves and an onion. I let them simmer until the meat would come off the bones, about 2 hours, I think. By then I was too tired to make the rest of the dinner! So we put the cooked squirrels in the fridge and Larry de-boned them for me.

I started cooking last night by putting a couple tablespoons of canola oil in an iron skillet and adding the sliced leek (I only needed one leek for this recipe--remember I said they're big) and some canned mushrooms (the only ones I had on hand--fresh would be better).

After the leeks were soft, I added the squirrel meat and cooked until the meat was heated through. By this time the kitchen was smelling pretty nice.

We had a pot of red-skinned potatoes cooking too, to make mashed potatoes, and some green beans as a side.

When the meat was hot, I added the liquid from the mushrooms, some Worchestershire sauce, red pepper and water. I let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, then added 2 tablespoons of corn starch mixed with water into a paste so it would not lump up. I continued to simmer until the sauce was thickened.

Then, over the mashed potatoes on my plate!

Simple and good. And no, I could not eat all that was on my plate--my husband has eyes bigger than my stomach and he did the dishing up.


Tink said...

That plate and two homemade,my,my! One of my "secrets" is to pressure cook the squirrel then use however. The meat will be very tender,and it saves a little time.

Susan at Stony River said...

Sounds yummy!
I always thought the new edition of Joy of Cooking was no improvement at all -- among other things it left behind the squirrel skinning instructions and recipes that were in the older versions. When I bought my daughter a copy for her to use in WV, I made sure I got a second hand copy of the older edition.

Granny Sue said...

Good suggestions, Tink. I don't have a small pressure cooker but that would certainly speed things up.

Susan, I didn't know Joy of Cooking told how to skin squirrels! Now I have to go look at my copy and see if I have that. How funny. And your daughter will certainly need to know how to do that if she's living here ;-)

Anonymous said...


Janet, said...

That does look good, and I think I could eat all that was on your plate. We have some squirrel in the freezer that we haven't did anything with yet. Squirrel gravy is good,too.

Cathy said...

Gosh, I haven't had squirrel in years. It has to have been over 20 or more years! I have never cooked it but I watched my grandmother cook it and loved it. She was an awesome cook but I never liked bear and she liked cooking it too. I like venison and wild turkey best. I wish I could shoot the deer and turkeys that walk through our yard!
I love leeks. That combination looks yummy!

Patty said...

I've never had squirrel, but some of my cousins down in GA go hunting for them. I have had wild rabbit, deer and wild turkeys.
Maybe I will get a chance to try it someday..Thanks for showing how to cook it.

lilly said...

We have had squirrel and really very tasty. Have you ever tried putting a teaspoon of grainy mustard in the sauce to make gravy. Very good. We also used to eat racoon which is all good meat and tasts like the dark meat of chicken, Takes a long time to cook as I always par boiled mine in vinegar water and then rinsed it and slow cooked with onions, bay leaf and garlic. The broth makes a delicious gravy. We then had mashed potatoes, cheese biscuits and green beans cooked with bacon. If I had leeks I surely would have tried them. lilly

Granny Sue said...

I have never had bear or raccoon that I know of--although at some wild meat cook-offs, who knows what you're getting? Lilly, you make even raccoon sound good. I'm going to try that mustard in the gravy--I can see where it would give it a nice kick.

Patty, the only time I tried to cook a wild turkey I made some good shoe leather! I'd like to try again and this time find some directions first!

Rowan said...

I've never eaten squirrel but have been told that it's very good eating. Nothing against eating them, just never had the chance.

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