PUBLISHED: 13:20 09 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:20 09 July 2015
Jane Price puts the small amount of meat you get from one squirrel to good use
Our woodlands are full of food, by which I mean grey squirrels. To make a main course for two people you probably need three squirrels, so when my hunter-gatherer husband came home with just one squirrel I was a little limited on what I could prepare for our supper. One squirrel doesn’t make a typical meat and two veg roast dinner for two people.
The beast was handed to me skinned and ready to cook, and I just needed to poach it for 40 minutes in a large pan of boiling water. Poaching is a good way to cook lean animals such as squirrel because the meat is then easily removed from the bone. You can just push it off like you would the flesh from a roast chicken. It can then be added to a salad or sauce or used to make pâté or as a pizza topping.
Squirrel is not something that I’d tried before and didn’t really know if I wanted to try. It sounded a bit weird and something that those slightly grubby, knit-your-own muesli types would eat, and for someone who is very fortunate to eat venison and pheasant on a regular basis, I didn’t think I would need to eat a squirrel.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the squirrel meat was succulent and it tasted more like chicken, whereas rabbit is more like pork. Cooking it in liquid helps to keep it from becoming dry, and it’s the best way to cook such lean meat.
I would be more than happy to eat a tree rat again and would encourage everyone to try it. If you shoot them, you should definitely eat them.