An easy introduction to eating this tasty and ethical meat
I invented this recipe as a way of giving people a taster of squirrel during presentations about my book, The Ethical Carnivore. It makes a great starter or ‘nibble’ for guests at a party and certainly sparks conversation…
2 heaped tbsps smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey
2 garlic cloves
Thumb-size piece of ginger
2 prepared squirrels
For the marinade, in a large mixing bowl, juice 3 limes and then mix in the peanut butter, soy sauce and honey. Add the garlic and ginger in large chunks. Keep one lime aside for later.
Most squirrel is sold whole by game dealers or butchers. It may seem unnerving at first to butcher a whole animal, but it is really quite easy—because you are cutting small 1-2 cm square chunks, it doesn’t matter if you fail to achieve neat fillets. Start by cutting around the bones of the thigh, and don’t forget the fillets along the spine. There is also meat on the front legs.
Marinade the meat overnight, or for at least 4 hours. In the morning, thread the chunks of meat onto cocktail sticks. You want to put 2 or 3 on each but not too much, as you need to be able to turn the stick.
Spread some tin foil over your grill pan and slide in the squirrel on the hottest setting. You need to watch them like a hawk, as they burn easily. Take out the squirrel as soon as it starts to brown and char a little around the edges. You want it to be sizzling. Allow the cocktail sticks to turn black, but not the meat. Turn the squirrel and make sure the other side is also browned. It should only take a few minutes on each side.
Serve the squirrel with a wedge of lime and sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Recipe: Louise Gray
Image: Orlando Gili