Sunday, 4 April 2010

Squirrel Ragout

We've had 3 squirrels in the freezer for a few weeks now, and I've given up trying to catch the fourth one I once saw. I haven't seen it for a while and completely failed to catch it, so gave up.

On Friday I cooked the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall squirrel ragout recipe for Jenny, and it was not bad, though for some reason, not as good as when I did it for Jane. Trouble is, that was 18 months ago, and I can't actually remember exactly what I did. Didn't follow the recipe that closely, is certain!

So here are some pics.
First, 21 ounces of succulent grey squirrel, ready to go. This is roughly half, as the other half was being browned when I took the photo.

I poached it gently in stock with some finely chopped celery, carrot, onion and garlic, along with the inevitable red wine and bouquet garni. Oh yes, and made some roasted tomato puree, which I certainly didn't for Jane. I think her version got a squirt of commercial puree instead. Gave that an hour and a half, then took the meat out and when it was cool, defleshed the tiny bones.

I strained the stock but didn't try to push the veg through the sieve too hard. Maybe that was where I went wrong.

Anyhow, I reduced the sauce by a third, whisked in a knob of butter, then returned the meat and gave it time to heat up.

Served, as you see, on a bed of tagliatelle. Actually there was rather too much, and we had the rest for lunch yesterday. Yum!

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