Braised squirrel pot roast

If you find a butcher that sells prepared squirrel meat, try it in this stew from Matt Tebbutt to give a distinctive, sweet flavour
By Matt Tebbutt
Braised squirrel pot roast
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 20 g dried porcini, mushrooms
  • 3 grey squirrel, skinned, gutted and jointed - ask the butcher to do it for you
  • seasoned flour, for dusting
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery, stick, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • large knob butter
  • 200 g mixed wild mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • chopped parsley, to garnish

Method

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes, until softened.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Dust the squirrel pieces lightly in seasoned flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish on the hob, put the squirrel pieces in the dish and brown on all sides until golden. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the meat and set aside.

3. Heat a little more oil in the pan you browned the meat in, stir in the diced onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and thyme sprig, then fry for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are softened. Return the meat back to the pan then pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to burn off. Add the peppercorns, the soaked mushrooms and their soaking liquor and the chicken stock, then cover with a lid and braise in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is completely tender.

4. Just before you are ready to serve, heat the butter in a frying pan and when hot, add the wild mushrooms and some seasoning and fry them until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chopped tarragon. Serve the squirrel with the sautéed mushrooms spooned on top, garnished with parsley.

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