How to Make Squirrel Gumbo
If you’ve ever wondered how to make squirrel gumbo, you’ve come to the right place. While the population of these critters has gotten out of hand in some areas, they are actually vital for agricultural balance. Luckily, there are ways to cook the meat without hurting the squirrels’ welfare. In this article, we’ll discuss the ingredients you’ll need, how to make a roux, and how to add frozen okra.
Culling out the squirrel population is essential to the agricultural balance
The rapid decline in the squirrel population threatens the balance of agricultural ecosystems in many ways. It causes a host of other problems. Invasive squirrels spread disease and compete with native species, so culling is necessary to keep the natural balance of agriculture. In addition, culling is consistent with EU Regulation No. 1143/2014, which calls for a rapid eradication of alien species.
However, it should be noted that the current culling method has limited results and is not a long-term solution. The most recent study involving four countries and many non-governmental organisations has shown that culling the squirrel population can only reduce its size by a third. The alternative is to introduce gonadotrophin-releasing hormone vaccines, which can reduce the squirrel population without killing it. Ultimately, the best solution is to manage the population using other means, such as traps, which are far less expensive to implement.
The government has made an effort to protect the red squirrel from the impacts of habitat loss. However, there has been widespread misunderstandings about whether eradication is necessary or not. The recent study conducted by the National Land Management Organization (NLMA) showed that eradication of the squirrel population had only a small effect. Instead of eradicating red squirrels, it merely promoted the influx of new species.
Making a roux
To start making squirrel gumbo, make a roux. You can make a roux in your kitchen or in a pan. Start with a small amount of oil in a heavy Dutch oven. Once it’s hot, add the flour, a little at a time. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a dark, medium color. Add the sausage, then the remaining flour, and continue to stir until well combined.
Add a cup of oil to a large pot. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Slowly add the flour, stirring constantly. Once the roux is a dark brown color, you can add the onions, celery, peppers, and garlic. Stir for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Add rice and any other dry ingredients, if desired. When all ingredients are combined, stir and cook for a few minutes.
Cooking the squirrels in gumbo
The first step in cooking the squirrels in gumbo is to prepare the ingredients. Ideally, the squirrels should be whole. Once they’re cooked, they should be cooled before handling. Once cool, they can be deboned. Once the squirrel meat has been deboned, add it to the gumbo pot. The seasonings should also be added at this stage, as it allows them to break down and begin the flavoring process.
If you want to prepare the meat and add it to the gumbo, you can use a good-quality roux. The roux will keep its texture better in storage, as it won’t become stringy. Once the roux is added, stir it slowly, making sure that it blends well with the broth. Cooking the squirrels in gumbo can be an exciting experience!
Adding frozen okra to gumbo
One of the ways to add okra to gumbo is to cook it in advance and thaw it at a later date. Most gumbo recipes begin with a roux, a toasted flour and oil mixture that adds flavor and thickens the dish. Some gumbo recipes also use a thickening agent called file, which is ground sassafras. Expert gumbo cooks warn against mixing okra and file in the same recipe as it can cause the gumbo to become too thick. But if you can’t resist trying this unique vegetable, okra will lend a distinct flavor to your gumbo and is an excellent substitution for shellfish or any other protein.
Okra is a controversial addition to gumbo. While you may think okra would add flavor, it’s a must-have for any New Orleans-style gumbo. You can purchase pre-frozen okra, then thaw it and add it to the gumbo during the last 15 minutes of cooking. While the roux is essential to the traditional flavor of gumbo, the okra will give it a unique flavor.
What is Squirrel Gumbo?
A type of stew made with squirrel meat.
What are the ingredients needed to make Squirrel Gumbo?
Stewing squirrel celery onions bell peppers garlic green onions parsley thyme bay leaves cayenne pepper black pepper Worcestershire sauce chicken broth and flour.
Can other meats be used in Squirrel Gumbo?
Yes chicken sausage and shrimp are commonly used in addition to or in place of squirrel.
How do you catch a squirrel?
You can purchase them from a hunting or trapping supply store or catch them yourself using a live trap baited with peanuts apple slices or marshmallows.
How do you clean a squirrel?
Cut off the head feet and tail.
Remove the entrails and discard them.
Wash the squirrel in cool water.
How do you cook the squirrel?
Boil or roast the squirrel until the meat is cooked through.
Remove the meat from the bones and chop into bite-sized pieces.
How do you make the roux?
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
Stir in the flour and cook until the mixture is golden brown about 10 minutes.
How do you add the vegetables to the roux?
Add the celery onions bell peppers garlic and green onions to the roux and cook until the vegetables are soft about 10 minutes.
How do you add the seasonings to the gumbo?
Add the parsley thyme bay leaves cayenne pepper black pepper and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 1 minute.
How do you add the broth to the gumbo?
Add the chicken broth and bring the gumbo to a boil.
How do you add the squirrel to the gumbo?
Add the chopped squirrel meat and cook for 10 minutes.
How do you thicken the gumbo?
Stir in the flour and cook for 5 minutes.
How do you serve the gumbo?
Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions.
Can the gumbo be frozen?
Yes the gumbo can be frozen for up to 3 months.
What else can be added to the gumbo?
Okra tomatoes and/or corn can be added to the gumbo.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.