Try this cheap, ethical - and delicious - autumnal recipe for squirrel with chanterelle mushrooms.
2 squirrels, skinned and gutted, chopped into quarters
1 tbsp flour
200ml/7fl oz red wine, preferably claret
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped pancetta
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ bay leaf, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
pinch cayenne pepper
300ml/10fl oz chicken stock
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, sliced thinly
1 celeriac, peeled, sliced thinly
2 turnips, peeled, sliced thinly
1 tbsp clear honey
2 beetroot, cooked, peeled, sliced thinly
3 onions, sliced thinly
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fresh bay leaf
sprig fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g/2oz pine nuts, toasted, to serve
Dredge the squirrel pieces in the flour and set aside.
Warm the claret in a saucepan.
Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the pancetta and squirrel pieces and fry for 4-5 minutes, turning regularly, until golden-brown all over.
Add the warmed claret, thyme, bay leaf and lemon zest to the saucepan containing the squirrel and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the squirrel is cooked through. Season, to taste, with sea salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Meanwhile, for the mushrooms, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallot, garlic and mushrooms for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the parsley.
For the autumnal vegetables, preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan then turn off the heat. Add the butternut squash, celeriac and turnip. Heat for five minutes, or until slightly softened. Remove the vegetables from the stock using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the honey to the stock, return the mixture to the boil and continue to boil until the volume of liquid has reduced in volume and resembles syrup.
Arrange the butternut squash, celeriac, turnip, beetroot and onion on a large baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil and pour over the reduced stock mixture. Add the bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake the vegetables in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until tender.
To serve, arrange the vegetable slices on the serving plates. Top with the squirrel pieces and spoon over the mushrooms. Sprinkle with the flatleaf parsley and toasted pine nuts.
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