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Squirrel Pot Pie



Hunting squirrels is always a fun endeavor but some are reluctant to pursue the bushy tails with a passion because of their tough constancy.  I found a solution and a recipe that makes me want to load up the back quiver with all my cast away arrows and hit the woods.

When I grew up my mother would bar-boil the critter quarters for 20 minutes or so to tenderize before breading them with flour, salt and pepper, and baking in the oven.  They were good this way but still a chewy undertaking.

Lately I have been doing a lot of canning of my deer, chicken, and pheasant and I decided to can a bunch of squirrel quarters. The result after the pressure canning was fall off the bone tender meat. 

At a big camp out 3D bow shoot I was at I decided to make some pot pie and the results were so amazing I shared the meal with several camps that agreed it was goooood eating!

Canning the squirrel has many benefits including making it tender, giving you squirrel broth, leaving precious space in your freezer, and storage for years without freezer burn.

Here is how I made the meal.

First take the quart of squirrel pieces and pour off the squirrel broth into another container for later use. De-bone the meat taking care to leave no bones or fragments.  This is fairly easy as the meat is falling off the bones.  The hardest part is keeping the small vertebrate out from the back pieces. Set the meat aside as you prepare the rest.

Next, heat up your cast iron dutch oven or large sided skillet with lid to medium heat.  While this is heating, slice and dice your onion and add it to the fry pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and saute until the onion is tender.  You can also add your veggies in at this point.  Out on the range I found this chicken of the woods mushroom growing, so I put a few tender pieces in my cargo pocket.  I sliced these thin and sauted them with the onions.

Then, add the de-boned squirrel meat, salt and pepper, minced garlic (about 1 clove worth) and heat all for another 5 minutes or so stirring.  Since I had only one pan, I removed all this and set it aside, but if you have another pan melt the 1 tablespoon of butter and add the flour stirring constantly until you have a rue. Once a nice brown color is reached pour in the squirrel broth you saved, and while stirring smooth add the meat mixture in until it is nice and thick and bubbly. I also added a splash of home-made raspberry wine at this point.

Remove from heat.  In your clean dutch or lidded pan place the first pie crust and pour the entire mixture into the center of the pan.  Leaving a ring of exposed dough like this:

 Next put on your top crust and smash/pinch together the exposed ends with your fingers.

Now you have this:

I used charcoal briquettes in the fire pit and placed about 15 of them on the lid and a little more under the pan.  Rotating the pan and lid until I got a nice even brown.  Maybe about 15-20 minutes baking time.

It came out like this!

Wow, it was good!

I will be canning all my squirrels from now on.  Happy Hunting!



1 quart jar of pressure canned squirrel quarters 

half an onion diced

veggies peas, carrots, celery or add ins (for this recipe I only used sliced thin chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms I found along one of the courses)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 pie crusts

diced garlic about 1 clove worth

Salt and pepper to taste

Al Dente:
I love squirrel pot pie. I have done rabbit and possum too, and all three together.  I usually leave one whole leg intact, just so the table can see that it wasn't "chicken".

J.F. Miller:
Canned squirrel is a wonderful and delicious food item to have on the shelf. I have had squirrel dogs for many years now and we get plenty of squirrels for the canner. Canned squirrel also makes fantastic squirrel gravy, especially in the spring with fresh Ramps. Chanterelle mushrooms are my favorite in squirrel pot pie with Maitake a close second. Never occurred to me to use Chickens, but that sure sounds good!


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