Squirrel Risotto with Hedge Garlic

5th February 2013

Yesterday we looked at Hedge Garlic Alliaria petiolata. This recipe is a fantastic way to use it at this time of year.  The squirrel can obviously be omitted completely or replaced with chicken or other cooked meat, however if you get the chance it is worth trying squirrel. Grey Squirrels Sciurus carolinensis are an invader from the USA and as well as driving out our native Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris they cause immense amounts of damage to trees.  The meat is sweet and tasty and not at all gamey.

To serve 4 you will need;-

4-6 Grey Squirrel jointed
4 tablespoons of finely chopped Hedge Garlic
300g Risotto Rice
2 medium Onion roughly diced
350g wild mushrooms chopped
2 small Courgette diced
1500ml Vegetable or chicken stock
2 glasses of White Wine
4 tbsp Olive Oil
50g butter
Freshly ground Salt & Pepper to taste

Poach the squirrel pieces in the stock for an hour or so until the meat is falling off the bones. Remove the squirrel from the stock and allow to cool, reserve the stock. Take all the squirrel meat off of the bones.

To make the risotto. Add olive oil to pan & gently fry onions until translucent.Add rice ensure all grains coated in oil & keep stirring, then add courgette & mushrooms. When the rice is translucent add white wine & continue to stir. When white wine cooked into rice add first ladle of stock & season. Reduce heat & simmer gently. Add the squirrel meat. Continue to add the stock as it is absorbed into the rice.
Check seasoning to taste. When rice is cooked stir in the butter & chopped hedge garlic then remove from heat cover with lid & stand for 2 minutes & serve.

Cooking the hedge garlic for 2-3 min reduces the bitterness from raw, any further cooking will reduce the  flavour.

Squirrel Risotto with Hedge Garlic

Thanks to Apprentice Instructor Jay Jenner for this recipe.


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