Poachers Squirrel Pie with Mixed Root Mash Topping is a rural spin on a traditional cottage pie.
In rural England, grey squirrels are classed as vermin. It’s legal to shoot them all year round, and the meat is surprisingly tasty.
It’s worth noting however that it’s illegal to shoot our native red squirrel as they are an endangered and protected species.
This squirrel was an old boy, so frying or roasting would have made him inedible as the meat would have become too tough.
The most fitting end involved the slow cooker, that wonderful gadget that renders even the toughest meat delightful.
Honestly, I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to source squirrel meat.
It’s quite fiddly and has a small meat to carcass ration, but I’d certainly never let one go to waste!
If you shoot, or know someone that does, may I recommend this gorgeous Venison Liver Pate recipe?
It’s one of the favourite recipes on this website, people love it!
- 1 squirrel once skinned, I slow cooked him in water on high for around 4 hours, by which time the meat was falling off the bone. I let it cool before stripping the meat from the bones. For those that are interested, there was 110g cooked meat on a well fed, winter male squirrel
- ½ bulb garlic peeled but cloves left whole
- 1 onion diced
- 3 savoy cabbage leaves chopped. Add any veggies you have available
- Various root vegetables for the mash I used potato, sweet potato, carrot, swede and parsnip
- Butter for the mash
- Chop the root vegetables, and boil then mash with the butter.
- Fry the onion until it has a little colour. Add a ladle at a time of the water the squirrel was cooked in, letting it reduce before adding the next. Add the cabbage with the last ladle of stock. Simmer down a little and add gravy powder/cornflour to thicken it.
- Mix the cooked squirrel meat with the onion and cabbage gravy and tip into a casserole dish or individual pie dish. Top with the root mash and bake until the top is golden brown.