Originally Posted by Chefross
I've made squirrel a few times but always as a stew, because I was under the impression that the meat required low heat for a long time to make it tender.
Would the meat lend itself to a medium rare preparation?
We have red, gray, and black squirrels here.
I'm going to assume that you are referring to the sous vide and stir fry dish. Well that is why I put the fish sauce in the pouch. It's salty so it's kinda like brining. I also put the temp
higher than I would set for other proteins and let them go for many hours. It's kin to slow cooking I guess. I rinse the squirrels, dice em and toss in a little sesame oil and stir fry.
It just dawned on me, you might be talking about the charcuterie idea I tossed out there. I guess I have to think that one through.
The squirrels we have out on our property are predominately Gray's and Reds. The reds are larger but the Gray's are more tender. We take the Gray's when they are young. Our property
is 70-80% Live Oak and Pecan trees. So these puppies are constantly eating all year. We also have about 4 acres of Freestone peaches up by the house which we lease to a younger couple in the area.
So in the spring the Gray's are young are gorging them selves on peach buds and peaches. They really have a wonderful and tender flavor. We let the kids just sit out on the porch in the evenings and they will take however many we need to feed us from the orchard. 22's. Sometimes they are done in 20 min. It certainly take more time to clean them than it does to gather. My BIL is the hunter, he has all the kids and grandkids from 3-4 to 20 yrs. old trained in how to dispatch and clean properly. On many occasions we will brine for just a little while and just fry them up. They are tender and juicy. Although it's best to brine overnight.
I'm pretty sure that the Gray's will be good even at med-rare.
The ole boy nextdoor has about has about 10 acres of 1015Y's. He has a problem with the mexican squirrels. They like to feed on vegetation, and they burrow. They are normally good to eat, but after munching and living on onions it tends to be an acquired taste. The meat tastes like old garlic no matter how it's cooked.
So squirrels, here, have different names depending on how they live. Some neighbors call em tree-rats, we call em limb-chickens. Hope that explains.
This year was crazy!! We had a mild winter and sooo much rain we think there was a double breed in the first part of spring. This was the first year we froze and gave away pounds of vacuum packed pups. We actually had a sign in town to come on to the property and get your meal. Having and overbreed and so many babies around really draws raccoons, opossums, hawks, etc. Some of those can be a pain. They don't like to eat and run. And for the kids sake, the babies attract a lot of snakes. Though mostly ratsnakes (which the musk stinks and you can smell it) when they're there., we've seen the squirrels lure in many cottonmouths, copperheads, rattlers, and coral(not always a friend of Jack). Especially with our tanks and old barns being close to the main house.