Sometimes, it is better to use squirrel as a starter than commit a whole main course to the species. This dish can be prepared well ahead of time and makes the most of the squirrel. Serve with your favourite fruity chutney.

Potted Squirrel Recipe

By Matt Gisby Published: June 3, 2021

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 hrs 0 min
  • Ready In: 5 hrs 5 mins

Sometimes, it is better to use squirrel as a starter than commit a whole main course to the species. This dish can be prepared well …



  1. This recipe is perfect for the slow cooker, however, it is equally suitable for the traditional pan on the stove. Tie 2 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs rosemary and 2 sprigs of sage together. Add the wine, squirrel, bacon, chopped vegetables, garlic, the bundle of herbs, and the peppercorns to the pot. Season generously with salt and bring up to temperature on the highest setting (or to the boil on the stove).
  2. Once it starts to bubble, check that all the meat is covered. If not, add a small amount of water. Leave on a medium temperature if using a slow cooker, or transfer to the oven at 130°C for 5 hours until the squirrel is very tender, the vegetables are soft, and the bacon is starting to fall apart.
  3. Carefully remove the squirrel pieces from the pot and place on a tray. Allow to cool slightly. Lift out the bacon and shred it with two forks. Transfer to a mixing bowl, strain and reserve the liquid (it makes a fantastic soup, but we may need a little for this recipe, too). Once the squirrel cooled down, carefully pick the meat off the bones and mix with the bacon. Be careful to check and discard any small bones that might have been left with the meat.
  4. Mix the squirrel and bacon together, shredding the meat as you go. Add the chopped hazelnuts and chopped, check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper if required. If your mix is very dry, add a small amount of the liquid you’ve saved earlier to moisten the meat (add a tablespoon at a time until you are happy with the consistency).
  5. Divide the mixture between four ramekins. Allow a small amount of space at the top for the butter seal. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour to allow the meat to begin to set. Gently heat the butter on a low heat. Skim off any scum on top as it melts and allow the milky residue to drop to the bottom. Pour the clarified butter over the top of the meat mix to top off the ramekins.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. The flavour will improve with time, so we recommend making these well in advance, as they’ll keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. To serve, remove the ramekins from the fridge 10 minutes prior to serving to allow to warm slightly.
  7. Slice your ciabatta loaf, rub with olive oil and grill on each side. Serve the squirrel with fruity chutney, dressed salad leaves and grilled ciabatta.
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