Thursday 9 July 2009

Squirrel au Vin

Rad has been putting his air rifle to good use. The irritation of squirrels eating his lovingly nurtured fruit and veg got too much and resulted in me receiving a very unusual text message that read:

“I’ve shot a squirrel! Fancy coming over tonight to help me cook it?”

Feeling a bit like Batman responding to Commissioner Gordon’s urgent phone call, I notified Alfred (AKA Cowie) and jumped into our Batmobile (Peugeot 206) armed with a camera and a few ideas for squirrel recipes.

Inspired by Hugh F-W, Rad had skinned the squirrel so all we had to do was butcher the meat and cook it.

The meat was firm, pink and very lean. It smelt fresh had a reassuring dryness. Early summer isn’t an ideal time to eat squirrel because they tend to be young and scrawny. The ideal squirrel is fattened by eating too many acorns and nuts and is far plumper.

Squirrel angle

Squirrel butchery

After our hare experience, we decided that slow cooking was the way forward and opted for a bastardised version of the classic coq au vin.

We fried some bacon, onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and celery and added them to a casserole dish.

Then we browned the squirrel meat and deglazed the pan with red wine…

… and poured it all into the casserole.

It bubbled away for several hours before being deemed ready to eat. Sadly, Cowie and I had to return to the Batcave and never got to taste it. Rad thought the flavours overwhelmed the squirrel which is a shame. So next time we might do a squirrel roast and serve it (appropriately) with a cherry sauce as Ollie has suggested on Rad’s blog.

I’m now keen for Rad to shoot a few pigeons so we can make Moroccan Pastilla.

All the amazing square photos are from Rad's brilliant blog.


Helen said...

Argh! Everyone knows how much I want to try squirrel. I am rather offended you didn't invite me over, quite frankly ;)

Helen said...

sorry I don't know why I went to publish that comment without finishing it...who is this friend Rad, I need to meet him! He shoots all sorts of lovelies. Well it seems you were denied the squirrel too. Next time, you must give me a bell!

Browners said...

@Helen (twice) - Rad is a very talented chap who lives just off Wandsworth Common. Next time we do squirrel, I'll give you a bell. My fingers are crossed for pigeon next.

Graphic Foodie said...

Tell Rad he needs to get a bit more trigger happy for a decent meal. Not too much meat on those little critters!

Browners said...

@Graphic Foodie - I know! Those squirrels are pretty scrawny. I'm hoping for a glut of pigeons.

Dan said...

Always wondered what squirrel tastes like, but have to admit - I'm way too soft, felt a pang of "ahhhh the ickle furry critters asleep", before being dragged back to reality by the nexy pic with its guts hanging out.

If you want to shoot pigeons, your welcome to come and shoot the ones that keep trying to nest on my roof. I hate the bastards.

Browners said...

@Dan - sorry for the disturbing pictures. The leg popping out of the fur is particularly graphic.

Thanks for the pigeon shooting invitation. Are they rock or wood pigeons?

Dan said...


As for the Pigeons - no idea, the type that cack everywhere, drop twigs all over the place where they keep (unsucessfully) trying to make a nest, and make irritating 'coo-coo' noises. If only I hadnt swapped my air rifle for a pair of skates when I was a sprog. They would be brown bread by now.

meemalee said...

I didn't think you could beat the ortolan in the baked potato, but I believe you just have - outstanding post, sir!

Browners said...

@Dan - Bloody pigeons. I adore them when they are nice and rare. So tasty. But the ones in London tend to be nothing better than rats with wings.

@meemalee - Thanks so much for your very kind words. Just you wait for the next post I've got tucked away!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Rad is a bad man. In a good way. ;)

When's pigeon pie happening?

Browners said...

@ aforkfulofspaghetti - hopefull next weekend! Depending on the number of feathered friends we come across!

Hollow Legs said...

Awww, poor little thing! Shame you didn't get to taste it.

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

Wow! Was just watching Bear Grylls trap and eat a squirrel, shaving it into slices as it was frozen. I'm sure they're tasty like all other furry creatures!

Browners said...

@Lizzie - I know. I was really intrigued what it might taste like. I'm sure we'll do it again.

@Helen Y-P - This sounds like a great idea. A bit like shaving truffles! Definitely going to give it a go.

Anonymous said...

did you eat more of these beasts? they are despicable and belongg on a dinner plate


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