HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods?

Caintucky Sam's squirrel burgoo

Sam Fujisaka May 14, 2009 02:11 PM

Squirrel burgoo came up on another thread. Here's my recipe:

Two oz of Jim Beam

2 lbs squirrel meat
4 cups homemade beef or chicken stock
16 oz can tomatoes cut up
salt & pepper

2 medium-large potatoes peeled and cubed
Big handful okra, cut up
Corn kernels sliced from two ears
couple of sliced carrots
one onion, chopped
pinch of sugar
some cumin and chile powder

Toss back a one oz shot of Jim Beam.

Combine meat, undrained tomatoes, salt, pepper, and stock. Bring to boil, simmer for half an hour - hour depending on the age of the squirrels when shot. Remove and set aside tender meat; and toss in potatoes and then other ingredients and simmer until vegetables are ready (don't overcook). Remove any bones from the squirrel meat and cut into more or less bite sized bits and toss back in.

Toss back the second shot of the Jim Beam.

Bring burgoo back to heat and serve.

  1. Veggo May 14, 2009 03:18 PM

    Two pounds of squirrel meat is a few squirrels. Do you remember the George Leonard Herter method for skinning squirrels in 60 seconds?

    10 Replies
    1. re: Veggo
      Gio May 14, 2009 03:32 PM

      I can just imagine - what was it - La Machine?

      1. re: Veggo
        Sam Fujisaka May 14, 2009 03:48 PM

        Gut then extend that cut to an H, ring cut through the feet and head fur and skin and tack the fronts onto a sturdy board - then pull and peel towards the back.

        Now ahm skritchn' muh haid triun t' recall whert that recipe truly come fum. Seems t'me thet in about 62 or so we used to go huntin' with thet Donny Sarborough boy - them what's lived in that ol unpainted wood house bilt stright down on the ground cross from the farm afore his Daddy done got the cancer en they all had tuh up en move on. Well, effn ah re - call correctly, hit was thet same ol Daddy Scarborough's recipe from his kind that he brung with ems when they uns come hout to Californi fum back in Caintucky hin the late 50s.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
          Gio May 14, 2009 03:51 PM

          O U C H . Even I would hate to see a squirrel tacked to a "sturdy borad".....
          You beast, you.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            Veggo May 14, 2009 03:57 PM

            Dat be it. I still have 2 original GLH knives. In '74 a house full of us neer-do-wells kept a pot of squirrel stew on the stove all summer, and I learned the trade then.
            And we roasted a lot of pigs.

            1. re: Veggo
              Sam Fujisaka May 14, 2009 04:06 PM

              You, keg, MakingSense, and I might be the only squirrel skinners left on these boards.

            2. re: Sam Fujisaka
              alanbarnes May 14, 2009 04:50 PM

              Board? Tacks? Do you use one of those long skinny clipboard looking things to fillet fish, too?

              To skin a squirrel with nothing but a sharp knife, just cut through the tailbone from the underside, leaving the topside skin intact. Extend the cut across the back, step on the tail, grab the hind legs, and pull gently to turn the little guy inside out. Remove the skin along with the front paws and the head, pull the skin off the hindquarters, remove it with the hind feet, and you're good to go. It's easier to gut 'em once the skin's off.

              1. re: alanbarnes
                Sam Fujisaka May 14, 2009 04:59 PM

                We used the same heavy board for rabbits and squirrels - very quick and probably similar to your method. I now have a very heavy cutting board for fish (I chop big cross section steaks using a heavy Chinese cleaver) and fillet and skin on the same - and do use a nail for skinning eels in a process that always reminds me of squirrels.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                  alanbarnes May 14, 2009 05:29 PM

                  My dad insisted on skinning and cleaning in the field, so carrying a board and a hammer wasn't an option. He said it was to cool the meat quicker, but I suspect there was another factor at play: the small game wouldn't be all that was skinned if Mom was surprised by a pile of guts and pelts at home.

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    Sam Fujisaka May 14, 2009 05:34 PM

                    That's why we gutted first - that was done in the field.

                    1. re: alanbarnes
                      Veggo May 14, 2009 05:40 PM

                      The George Leonard Herter method allowed for a firmly planted boot heel to substitute for the tack board. Our stew had wabbits, also, and we had to field dress them because by August they had fleas, which would be bad news for my gooood kitty.

            3. tcamp May 14, 2009 02:49 PM

              I have the perfect venue for your recipe.

              Road Kill Cookoff


              1. c
                cimui May 14, 2009 02:46 PM

                hahahahaha! i love it! i'm copying it down and giving this to progeny.

                (where did you learn how to make this, seriously? did folks over yonder in california do squirrel burgoo, too? in KY people generally make the stew really thick by adding cornmeal or some other thickener near the end of cooking... but i think i'd like your version, better.)

                2 Replies
                1. re: cimui
                  Sam Fujisaka May 14, 2009 02:56 PM

                  I grew up hunting, including acorn and pine nut fed grey squirrels in the Sierra Nevada. There were a lot of southerners and Okies back then in the Central Valley who knew how to make burgoo, speak in funny high pitched voices, sing 50 verses of any number of old murder ballads, be polite to women, say "Thank you, ma'am" and "Yes, sir", drink Jim Beam (but not as much Jack Dan'ls), ...

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    cimui May 14, 2009 03:03 PM


                    you have led (and still lead) one of the most interesting lives i could possibly imagine, sam.

                    getting started on step one of that recipe right now. i think i'll get back to steps 2 through 20 some other night...

                2. DiveFan May 14, 2009 02:41 PM

                  Since the discharge of firearms is illegal around here, any suggestions about sourcing the protein?
                  In California, I suggest the latter choice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_squi...
                  This invader has displaced the native ones.

                  Uh, I prefer Jack Daniels with my burgoo.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DiveFan
                    Gio May 14, 2009 03:20 PM

                    Evah heeeerd of Have-A-Heart Traps, sonny? Jes the thing for Dr. Sam's Burgoo.....


                    We used em to ketch grey squirrels what eats my Rhododendron buds, fer gooness sakes. I shoulda known beddah than release em cross the hiway. Coulda cooked em instead. Yer a few years too late, Dr. Sam. But thanks ya kindly fer the receipt.

                    Granny Ghouly

                    PS I'll have some Gennalman Jack wid dat.

                    1. re: Gio
                      alanbarnes May 14, 2009 04:38 PM

                      Time for a re-named product: Dr. Sam's Catch-a-Snack traps.

                  Show Hidden Posts