Even though Americans consider squirrel to be one of the best meats in the woods, many people around the world have not even tried it. Squirrel is a lump of highly delicious and sustainable meat because it’s nutty and sweet.
Squirrel meat is best compared to rabbit meat, but it is a subtler version of it. Some say that the flavor is a cross between a chicken and a rabbit with hints of nut. The meat is light in color, textured finely, and sweet.
Squirrels are supplied either whole or skinned. Not only are the back legs in a squirrel the sweetest, but most meat is also provided in the haunches.
What is a squirrel
Squirrels are the members of a family that includes medium and small-sized rodents- a family better known as Sciuridae. Squirrels are indigenous to Africa, Eurasia, and America.
Th earliest known fossilized squirrel found was from the Eocene epoch. In general, squirrels are small in size. They can weigh around 26 grams and have a total length of 10 to 14 cm.
Much attention has been warranted around squirrel meat, with chefs seeking newer and more exciting ingredients and consumers becoming more conscious about sustainability.
According to a recent national survey, cooking and hunting squirrel in the US is continued by around 2 million Americans even today. Especially in the South, the squirrel is one of the most popular game meats. Since the 19th century, the Brunswick stew has been a family favorite in the south. It’s made from okra, lima beans, tomatoes, and squirrel.
How to store squirrel meat
Until squirrel meat is no longer rigid, you should store it in the refrigerator. This can mean anywhere from 24 hours to 36 hours. After that, preserve the meat. Since the squirrel is a game bird, it should be gutted and dressed as quickly as possible after the shooting.
When stuffing this meat in the freezer, cut it into small serving-size pieces or leave it whole, depending on your preference. Remember three important steps: packaging, sealing, and freezing.
How to know if the squirrel meat has gone bad
There are many ways you can check if the squirrel meat is any good. Here are a few:
• Check for dark spots in the meat or skin
• Look for cloudy eyes
• If the liver is dark but not spotted
• There are no visible bugs and worms in the meat
• The meat is not slimy• There should not be a foul smell
Dishes with squirrel
A wide range of flavors goes well with squirrels because of how adaptable the meat is. It goes particularly well with berries and nuts, unsurprisingly. However, it also holds down on its identity in creamy dishes and bold tomato sauces.
Since you can dry out squirrel meat easily, it is best cooked with port fat, alcohol, spices, and herbs. Here are our favorite squirrel dishes:
- Squirrel stew with greens and paprika
- Hobo stew
- Braised squirrel
- Game-to-eats’ slow-cooked chorizo and squirrel stew
- Kevin Viner’s squirrel pasties
- Robert Owen Brown’s Southern crispy fried squirrel
- Gill Meller’s roast squirrel with sage, hazelnuts, and squash.
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