Squirrel Stew with Paprika and Greens
There are a lot of ways you can play with this dish. You can use rabbit or chicken instead of squirrel, you can red wine instead of white wine, red vinegar instead of cider, kielbasa instead of smoked Portuguese sausages, collards instead of wild greens etc, etc. Have fun with it. The only trick to this stew is to build the flavors bit by bit. Not everything needs as long to cook as, say, squirrel legs. Follow my instructions on when you put in each ingredient and you'll be fine.
Servings: 8 people
- 3 squirrels, cut into serving pieces
- Flour for dusting
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups sliced onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried savory or oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 heaping tablespoon paprika
- 2 to 3 cups of whole peeled tomatoes, torn into large pieces
- 1 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa or linguica, sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound greens, kale, chard, collards, wild greens, etc
- black pepper to taste
Salt the squirrel pieces well and then dust in flour. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded pot over medium-high heat. Brown the squirrels in batches, being sure to not overcrowd the pot. Move the browned pieces to a plate or cutting board while you cook the rest.
When the squirrels have been nicely browned, remove them all from the pot and add the onion. Saute the onion until it just begins to brown on the edges, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook this for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often.
Pour in the white wine, vinegar and about 1 quart of water. Add the savory, red pepper flakes and paprika, then the torn-up tomatoes, then the squirrel. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste and cook gently until the squirrel wants to fall off the bone, about 90 minutes. Fish out all the squirrel pieces and pull them off the bone -- this makes the stew a lot easier to eat. Return them to the pot.
Add the smoked sausage and the greens and cook until the greens are done, about 10 minutes (If you are using collards, they need more than 10 minutes to cook so adjust accordingly). Add salt, black pepper, chile and vinegar to taste and serve with crusty bread.