Matt Manning gives his delicious take on squirrel nuggets (or goujons, if you want the fancy term). Serves 2-3 as a snack.

Few things irritate me more than wastefulness and I get a great deal of pleasure from making the most of what I shoot. It just so happens that the meat from grey squirrels is absolutely delicious – my children beg for the stuff – so this one would be coming home for the pot. Gutting and skinning a squirrel is a lot of work for relatively little meat, but it doesn’t take long to nip out their thighs where the bulk of the meat can be found.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will turn grey squirrel into a tasty treat. It is a twist on Rob Collins’s Southern Fried Popcorn Squirrel, which you will find in his book Recipes from the Hedgerow.

My children can’t get enough of the stuff – if only it were so easy to get broccoli down them.

Recipe for squirrel nuggets

Ingredients

  • 4 squirrel thighs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons 
vegetable oil
  • 3 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 wild garlic leaves

To cook the thighs

  1. Trim the meat from the bone and cut into 2cm chunks.
  2. Put into a plastic bag with flour, paprika and salt and pepper. Shake until evenly covered.
  3. Dip each piece of meat in beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs until coated.
  4. Shallow fry in vegetable oil 
for two minutes on each side 
or until golden brown (or deep fry for three minutes)

Wild garlic mayonnaise dip

Finely chop the garlic leaves and stir into the mayonnaise. Remove the grey squirrel nuggets from the pan and serve with the mayo.