Squirrel season is just around the corner, and since Kory uses a grill to bring greater flavor to the fresh vegetables in this recipe, it’s the ideal recipe to kick off an early fall hunt. Kory develops the flavor in this dish by first roasting the vegetables to give them a mellow, smoky profile, then chopping and peeling them before adding to the mixture as noted in the recipe.
- 3-4 Squirrels, skinned and cleaned
- 4 cups wild game stock (Can substitute beef stock)
- 12 oz Pale Ale beer
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 3 Ancho peppers
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder
- 1 additional tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 yellow onion, grill then dice
- 1 Jalapeno pepper, grill then dice
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, grilled then diced
- 1 red bell pepper, grilled then diced
- 1 lbs tomatoes (5-6), grilled, peeled, and chopped
- 2-3 cups of braising liquid from above
- 1-15 oz can of Tri Blend beans (kidney, pinto, and black beans)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat medium pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Amply season squirrel meat with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot and brown each side of the squirrels. Work in batches if you cannot fit them all in your pot at once. Once brown, add the stock, pale ale, and ancho chili peppers. Do not completely cover the meat. Cover and reduce meat to medium low. Cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is falling off of the bone.
- While waiting, grill the onion, peppers and tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes and then dice all the vegetables.
- Once cooked, remove squirrels and set aside to cool. Strain the solids out of the braising liquid and set aside.
- Remove bones from squirrels, leaving only good, quality meat
- Return the pot to the stove, bring to medium high heat, and add 1 tbsp of oil.
- Add the onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers and beans. Mix well while adding the 2-3 cups of braising liquid. The amount of braising liquid depends on how soupy you like your chili.
- Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, ground chipotle pepper, salt, and pepper. Add brown sugar if you like sweeter chili.
- Bring the chili to a simmer. While waiting, remove the meat from the bones of the squirrel and add to the chili.
- Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium low and allow to cook for 20 minutes uncovered. This will thicken up your chili. If you like a thinner chili then cover the pot.
- Serve with sour cream, cheese, sliced jalapeños, lime, and maybe some corn chips for dipping.
About the Chef: Kory is the Managing Editor of Harvesting nature, an online outdoor publication focusing on wild game recipes, hunting and fishing narratives, and adventure articles, and he also produces Harvesting Nature’s Wild Fish and Game Podcast which focuses on the technical side of cooking wild fish and game while also incorporating adventures and lessons learned from the pursuit of wild meat. Listen to the podcast, and get more information at HarvestingNature.com. Kory has been an avid hunter and fisherman for most of his life and enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his family. He currently lives in northwestern Pennsylvania with his wife and three active children.