Pulled squirrel sandwiches

by Steve Galea | January 21, 2020
a squirrel hides out in a tree
Photograph by Steve Galea

Squirrel hunting is one of my favourite small game hunting pastimes. The reasons are many; it’s exciting and, more often than not, quite challenging. Better still, squirrels are plentiful, and most hunters in the south and central parts of the province don’t have to drive far to access good squirrel habitats. Finally, they are fine table fare and their yields are generous.

With that in mind, here is one of my favourite ways to prepare squirrel – through what I call the pulled squirrel sandwich.

I like this recipe because it’s quick and easy and it makes good use of a brace of squirrels. Also, it ensures that the meat is fall off the bone tender. The only down side is you need a pressure cooker, though I suppose you could also tenderize the squirrel in a crock pot over a longer period of time.

Ingredients

  • Two eastern gray squirrels minimum
  • Your favourite kind of sandwich buns
  • Water or chicken broth
  • Butter or margarine
  • Your favourite barbecue sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s original)
  • Lawry’s seasoned salt

Instructions

Field dress and clean two squirrels removing all stray hair. Cut each into five pieces: hind legs, front legs, and the saddle.

Place all meat in a bowl filled with vinegar and water (in a 1 to 3 mix) for a couple of hours. This draws out the blood and helps in the tenderizing process.

Rinse when done. Pat dry with paper towels.

Place meat in your pressure cooker on a rack. Add water or chicken broth in the amount suggested by your unit’s instructions. Then pressure cook. With mine, I find ten minutes of pressure cooking is just about right.

Remove meat from pressure cooker, let cool so that you can handle it. Then, peel meat off the bone into a bowl. Don’t worry about meat on the ribs; it’s not enough to bother with.

Once in the bowl, add Lawry’s seasoned salt and barbecue sauce to taste.
Mix until all pieces are flavoured.

Place butter or margarine in a pan, fry up for a few minutes on low heat, being careful not to burn the sauce.

Serve on buttered buns, with fried onions if desired.

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