Today myself and my young son found a freshly dead squirrel that had been shot in Linslade Woods. The eyes were still bright and clear, it was still flexible, and it didn’t smell. I chose to risk it and brought it home, where after some You Tube instruction I skinned it by cutting under the tail and pulling the skin off in one piece.
It did make me shudder, and my son too, but wasn’t as hard as I thought. (The rabbit I got that was killed by a greyhound freaked me out far more.)
Then I cut from the neck down to the vent to get the entrails out…yeuch!
Back at the boat I cut the squirrel into chunks – 4 legs and 2 body parts, seasoned with paprika and braised it with some onions and garlic. Threw in some nettles and Deadnettles (with white orchid-like flowers) that were growing just across the towpath. Wild meat, and guilt free too! Utterly thrilling!
After about 20 mins it was ready, and I added gnocchi, a pinch of gravy granules and pepper. The guy on the video used a slow cooker, but he didn’t have a 5 year old lad yelling for his supper a foot away.
Here’s the results…
The verdict on the taste of our cute native tree rat? Well, a bit like chicken. And you really have to pick over those tiny legs to get anything off it. Wood pigeon is still my favourite.
I wonder how to cure the skin…prob enough there to make a coin purse for Marty. Stay tuned for more autumnal quests into Bushcraft as we self isolate yet again!!