When I started to discover that the natural development of my love of nature was bushcrafting and all the other parts that can be part of this vast topic I naturally wanted to learn as much as I could. I had a loose bucket list in my head of things that I wanted to master or at least try and one of those ongoing things is wild foods.
I dabble with foraging in a hobbyist bushcrafter sort of way but one food that has always alluded me is squirrel. I've been on several courses and not had it as a meal and a local farm butcher said he could probably get me some but that fizzled out to nothing, and when another local farm shop charges about seven quid for a prepared vacuum packed rabbit local availability wasn't looking looking good.
JP had bagged one on the latest Woodlife Trails immersion course and he used it (and the rabbit) to give the clients an impromptu game prep demonstration.
As well as seeing the squirrel butchered it was also interesting from an anatomical point of view to see the 'positive' foot shape as opposed to the 'negative' in the ground and those lower teeth! JP was going to take them home for the pot so I explained my situation and he kindly let me blag it's right leg for a taste when I got home.
Since JP had done all the hard work all I had to do was remove the flesh from the bone. The flesh was sticky so nice uniform pieces wasn't really happening, but I managed to cut the pieces up into a usable size(ish). I oiled up a frying pan and seasoned the pieces with salt, pepper and garlic granules.
First off I cooked it to a lightly browned stage and the family tried it. Now whenever I hear the flavour described it's usually a cross between something and pork. I'd agree and we decide upon beef and pork. I then slapped it back in the pan to give it a crispy exterior and it was more like pork on it's own flavour wise.
if I ever manage to score a whole squirrel I reckon a slow cooked casserole with chicken stock (well I ain't gonna get squirrel stock cubes am I?!), mixed veg, potatoes, garlic, thyme and pearl barley would be spot on. JP, thanks for helping me tick that one off the list sir!