Squirrel season is open in NYS until the end of February and since it’s a leap year, we get an extra day! Squirrel hunting is a great way to introduce new hunters, young, old, and in-between to the joys of getting outside and hunting. Plus, squirrel meat is super tasty! Here is a recipe to enjoy after a day in the field.
Squirrel Sriracha Sliders
- 6 squirrels, cleaned and quartered
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, cut in chunks (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 – 4 cups apple cider juice or chicken stock
- favorite sriracha barbecue sauce (easy recipe below)
- 3 oz. Monterrey jack or pepper jack cheese (6 slices)
- 6 Hawaiian rolls
- 6 slices of canned pineapple
Place squirrels in a slow cooker and add the onion, carrot, garlic, and enough juice or stock to cover the meat. Simmer on low heat for 6-8 hours. This can also be done in a Dutch oven or braising pan placed in the oven at 300 degrees for 3+ hours (make sure the liquid does not cook off). Or it can be placed in a large stock pot and cooked on the stove, tightly covered, and allowed to simmer for hours until the meat falls away from the bone (be sure cooking liquid does not cook off). The meat should be tender and easily shredded when done. This can also be done in a pressure cooker, such as an Instapot, set to meat/stew, and you will only need half the amount of liquid (meat does not need to be covered, just 1 or 2 cups of liquid will do). Remove the squirrel from the pan, and when cool enough to handle, shred the meat off the bones. Be careful to remove all of the bones from the meat. Discard the cooking liquid, veggies, and bones. Mix the squirrel meat with your favorite Sriracha BBQ sauce and heat through (note: do not use straight sriracha sauce as this will be super spicy and not the balance of sweet and spicy that’s desired!) . Place 6 Hawaiian rolls on a baking sheet, cut in half. Add a slice of Monterrey jack cheese to the bottom half of each roll and toast the rolls in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt a bit. Remove from oven and place squirrel meat on top of the cheese, top with a slice of pineapple, maybe a drizzle more of BBQ sauce, add the top half of roll, and serve. Serves about 8 people.
If you cannot find a sriracha barbecue sauce, you can make a quick one by mixing 1/4 cup sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce), 1/4 cup of ketchup, 2 Tbsp of maple syrup or honey, 2 Tbsp. of molasses, 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional), dash of smoke paprika (optional). Mix well and taste for a balance of flavor that you like…if you like more heat add more sriracha sauce. You can also just add some sriracha to spice up your favorite, jarred bbq sauce.