Delicious Squirrel & Dumplings: A Non-Contemporary Treat

December 4, 2012

Food Preparation, Wild Edibles

Hunting squirrel

A sharp crack rang through the woods; it was the distinctive sound of a .22 long rifle being fired. A few minutes later my oldest son walked up carrying a squirrel by the tail. That was number three for the morning, enough for a good meal. Half an hour later, we had all three dressed and soaking in a brine solution.

That was Saturday morning. Not a bad way to start the weekend.

Living Off the Land

As homesteaders, we like to live off the land as much as possible, growing our own veggies, raising our own meat and eggs, and harvesting the fruits of the land. Hunting is a vital part of our chosen lifestyle. It’s especially important to take your kids hunting with you. It teaches them to navigate the woods quietly, gets them outdoors, and it builds confidence in their abilities.

We like trying new things. It helps us to expand our palate during the good times so that one day, if hard times do befall us, we’ll be more accepting to or at least familiar with non-contemporary sources of food.

Trying new and non-contemporary food also helps to develop a since of openness to new things in our kids. When they see violets or chickweed in the salad, they may think we’re a bit loony but they are trying it and finding that it’s not so bad. And that’s good.

Squirrel & Dumplings

In a prior post, I shared our recipe for Squirrel Extraordinaire; it’s fine eating. This time, we made a favorite of many old-timers: Squirrel & Dumplings.

Squirrel & Dumplings

  • 3 Squirrels, quartered
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can of English peas

Soak the squirrels in a brine solution overnight. We use water and salt for our solution.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a roiling boil in a large stewpot and add the squirrels. Cover and let boil for approximately 1 hour.

While the squirrels are boiling, add the milk and lard to a mixing bowl. Stir in the flour and mix well. Adjust the consistency by adding additional milk or flour as needed. Knead the dough into a ball. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into your desired thickness. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into your preferred dumpling size.

Remove the squirrels form the broth. Bring the broth back to a boil and add the dumplings, celery, onions, and carrots. Let the veggies and dumplings cook covered for 15 minutes.

While the dumplings are cooking, remove the meat from the bones, being especially careful around the rib cage where the bones are fine.

Add the squirrel meat, salt, and pepper to the mixture and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Open and drain a can of English peas and add to the mixture, simmering for another 3 minutes.

Serve in a bowl with crackers or bread as a main dish and enjoy.

Have you tried squirrel, rabbit, goat, or other non-contemporary meats? What did you think? What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

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10 Comments on “Delicious Squirrel & Dumplings: A Non-Contemporary Treat”

  1. SchemaByte Says:

    Without reservation, I can say that this does indeed sound delicious.


  2. Crissy Says:

    I will be trying this for sure! Normally we do one of four simple recipes and call it good. Never thought to try dumplings. Always had dumplings with birds lol! Thanks for sharing! Life just got more tasty!


  3. Devon Says:

    The weirdest thing i have eaten was coyote. It was nasty. Wont do it again. I have eaten horse,rabbit,partridge, squirrel,deer,moose,goat,coyote, and alligator. The gator was a little weird. I am a very adventurous eater.


  4. Nicole Says:

    Gator for sure. It tastes like chicken but with a little sweetness. Buffalo. Emu. BBQ goat. Guinea fowl. Deer. Boar. Thinking about trying squirrel and snake but have to wait for an opportunity to present itself. We go into places in our tractor trailer that doesn’t allow weapons so it’s a knife or nothing. Where do you aim on a squirrel with a gun or arrow?


    • Crissy Says:

      Nicole –

      We take them with high powered BB or pellet gun, just aim for the head. Knock it right out and down. As for arrow, we did that once. It isn’t pretty when its stuck to the tree thrashing in pain. You can also trap them using several easy options. Sometimes we do things without a real gun because bullets cost money. Also its more quiet and such. My Grandpa used to pop them with a slingshot. However not a single one of us is that good. Happy feasting!



      • Nicole Says:

        Lol! Thanks for replying. Yes I’d like the least painful non thrashy kill. I think I’ll have to practice my sling shot skills. Personal growth. Lol!



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