Acclaimed chef Robert Owen Brown shares his recipe for squirrel in a crispy crumb …Serves 3

You can buy grey squirrel online and it is advisable to order it ready skinned (the tail is discarded). Squirrel is also on the menu at various pubs and restaurants around the UK as people increasingly recognise the value of using its meat instead of discarding it.

Of course, it is much cheaper to source your own squirrel meat locally, either by your own efforts or via a local butcher or gamedealer. A squirrel’s diet is predominantly made up of nuts, so it makes a healthy meat albeit not a particularly substantial one. Allow one squirrel per person.

Southern fried crispy squirrel

Ingredients

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

3 squirrels, jointed

1 small onion chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

1 bay leaf

250g butter

1 litre chicken stock

For the crispy coating

2tsp of smoked paprika

1tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp celery salt

2 beaten eggs

200g plain flour

300g breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole pan over a high heat. Add the squirrel pieces and quickly brown them.
  • When you have browned the squirrel, add the vegetables, bay leaf, butter and stock. Simmer for 50 minutes – then drain the stock, which you can use for something else. Set the squirrel aside to cool.
  • Combine the paprika, mustard and celery salt with the breadcrumbs.
  • Flour the cooled squirrel then dip in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs.
  • Deep fry on a medium-high heat until golden brown and crispy.
  • Season and serve. This dish goes well with baked beans and coleslaw.

About the chef

Award-winning, classically trained chef Robert Owen Brown was born in Stockport. He has worked at several Manchester dining establishments including The Midland Hotel, Reform, The Bridge and The Mark Addy pub. He is a champion of local producers and his food reflects his heritage and upbringing as well as his love of foraging and fishing in the north-west. He is the author of Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle , a collection of 50 seasonal recipes.