Recipes trigger memories sometimes, and that’s what happened when I came across this squirrel mulligan recipe. The date on it is December 16, 1989, and it has a 3.5 star rating out of a best possible four.
Here is why I cooked it.
by Leon Pantenburg
Some recipes feel like old friends, and this recipe is a perennial favorite.
In 1989, I lived in Washington D.C., and frequently hunted at Quantico Marine Base, south of the city. For a country type like me, weekend hunting trips helped me keep my sanity amid the Beltway hustle and pressure associated with a stressful job.
Shotguns were required to hunt on the base, but there was a loophole that allowed black powder rifles for small game hunting. My favorite hunting rifle is a .40 caliber flintlock. Black powder is my favorite method of hunting anyway, and my .40 caliber flintlock was my ticket to small game heaven.
All hunters were required to check in at the gate before dawn, and each was allotted 160 acres to hunt on for the day. I had scouted the land, knew where the hickory and oak groves were, and usually got my favorite spot.
There is something about drifting through a hardwood grove just after dawn, wearing a powder horn and shot bag and hunting with a genuine longrifle that makes it impossible to worry or think about work. The smell of the damp leaves, and ker-flu of the flintlock firing, followed by the fog of powder smoke were part of an incredible experience. Harvesting a squirrel was a bonus.
On this particular day, I was flinching just right when I pulled the trigger, and had killed three squirrels with three head shots. I processed the squirrels and headed back home through the insanity of the Beltway traffic.
Later that week, I was looking for a recipe to use three squirrels, and found this one in a wild game cookbook. It’s a winner!
3 squirrels, dressed
2 onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 russet potatoes, diced
4 Tbs chili pepper
salt to taste
pepper to taste
dash of Louisiana hot sauce
1 c cooked rice
Stew squirrels in water until tender. Removed meat from bones. Place meat into broth, and bring to a boil; add remaining ingredients except rice. Cook 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add rice and serve.
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