gift box included a pair of squirrels. I was more in the mood for rice than potatoes, I had a jar of dried mushrooms in the pantry, and I had just picked up some nice looking leeks at the grocery store. This is the result.
If you haven’t tried squirrel, my impression is that it tastes like very gamy dark meat chicken. There’s not a huge amount of meat on a squirrel: 2 squirrels gave me around a cup and a half of meat, plus a little pile of scraps to make the cat very, very happy.
2 to 4 squirrels, cut up (like you would a chicken: cut the legs off of the back)
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large leek, white stem only, halved and sliced into 1/2 inch ribbons. t(I save the green leafy par for making soups or stocks)
1 cup dried mushroom blend, soaked in water to cover for 15 minutes
1 8 oz package fresh white or crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Flour or cornstarch to thicken
Milk or half and half
Add olive oil, garlic, onions, leeks, and fresh mushrooms to dutch oven and saute until onions start to become translucent.
Add squirrel and red wine.
Saute, stirring well. Add a little more olive oil if needed. Note: braising meat usually says that you start by sauteing it in oil “until browned”. I didn’t wait that long. I just stirred it a bit until the meat started to look a little less red and a little more gray. Does squirrel even brown?
Add dried mushrooms along with the soak water, chicken broth, sea salt, and pepper to pan.
Bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer until squirrel is falling off the bone, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Remove squirrel, let cool, and remove meat from bone. Add the meat back into the pot OR reserve the meat and add it individually to the plate. (Do this if there’s not a lot of meat relative to the quantity of broth and vegetables).
Optional: Thicken the broth to your preferred consistency, and/or add milk or half and half to make it “cream of mushroom and leek with squirrel”.
Serve over rice or sweet potato.