Trust me. It’s in there.
M. After asking around for several weeks, I had all but given up on finding a squirrel in time for our traditional Brunswick stew. I guess that’s all it took. I got a call the day after our “all day” cook.
My benefactor has been regularly shooting, cleaning and serving what my dad refers to as “the rodent” for some time. Apparently, he tells folks it’s frogs legs. I’m not sure how that’s a step up cuisine-wise, but I’m going to leave all of that alone. My thanks go out to him for helping me venture so far off my beaten path.
Squirrel in hand, the second time around I more than halved our adapted recipe (plus one squirrel) and elected for the ease of a slow cooker with a longer cook a fewer stages.
I chopped the meat first to give it a running start at breaking down and admit I missed the fun of throwing a whole chicken in the pot. At least the “at first light” was intact. But then off to work I went. Upon my return, I found that after nearly 10 hours in the slow cooker, the meat still hadn’t quite reached the tenderness we got from that well boiled original batch, but it was in the ball park. Overall, this slow cooker version was a passable substitution for that all day boil.
And how about that squirrel I wanted so badly? I would place it somewhere between rabbit and dark meat turkey. Tasty enough. Not at all gamey. Very pleasant. And yet it made not one whit of difference to that stew, near as I could tell. Except that I knew it was in there. And that made it better. Go ahead and roll your eyes. I don’t care.
Recipe: Brunswick Stew (Slow Cooker)
Summary: Small batch, slow cooker version of the traditional stew, squirrel included. Adapted from The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook.
- 1 Squirrel, dressed
- 1 lb Chicken, chopped
- 3/4 lb Pork, chopped
- 1/2 lb Beef, chopped
- 1 Medium Onion, diced
- 2 c Butterbeans, frozen
- 2 Potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 3 c Tomatoes, peeled and mashed (canned is fine)
- 2 c Corn kernels, frozen
- 1 oz Butter
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 oz Ketchup
- Salt and Pepper
- Boil squirrel 1 hour and remove meat from pot using slotted spoon.
- Combine squirrel, chicken, pork, beef, diced onion and 2 tsp each salt and pepper and 3 qt water in slow cooker. Cook 8-10 hours.
- Break up meat. Add butterbeans, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, another tsp each salt and pepper and water, if necessary. Cook 2 hours.
- Stir in completely butter, vinegar, sugar and ketchup. Taste for seasoning & adjust if necessary, then serve.
Last Brunswick stew post tomorrow. Promise.