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Braised Squirrel Ravioli in a Brown Butter Walnut Sauce

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So, you only brought home one squirrel from a lacklustre hunt. How are you going to feed your whole family with it?

Squirrel and wild mushroom ravioli is the delicious answer to that question!

Made with just one squirrel, this recipe produces 24-36 ravioli; more than enough for a family dinner. Yes, it’s an involved recipe. Yes, there are a lot of steps. But, let me tell you, these ravioli are worth it!

I used wild black trumpet (horn of plenty) mushrooms for this dish, but feel free to use morels, chanterelles, or store-bought mushrooms.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Special Equipment: Pasta maker (or use store-bought wonton wrappers)


Looking for more squirrel recipes? Why not try this Barbecued Squirrel recipe?


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Braised Squirrel Ravioli in a Brown Butter Walnut Sauce

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Adam Berkelmans Course: Main CourseCuisine: American, Italian
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

1

hour 
Cooking time

1

hour 

15

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • For the Braise
  • 1 squirrel

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 tbsp oil or fat

  • 1/2 large carrot, roughly chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped, leaves and all

  • 1 small onion, quartered

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms (I used black trumpet)

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • For the Filling
  • 2 tsp butter

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 sage leaves, mince

  • Homemade pasta sheets OR 36 store-bought wonton wrappers

  • For the Sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 20 sage leaves

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Black pepper to garnish

  • Parmesan cheese to garnish

Preparation

  • Braising the Squirrel
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Season squirrel with salt and pepper, then add it to hot oil and sear on both sides until well browned. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme, dried mushrooms (if using fresh mushrooms, add them in step 4), and wine. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring. Add enough water to come halfway up the squirrel, bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for about 1 hour, flipping the squirrel halfway through, until meat easily shreds off of squirrel.
  • Set squirrel and mushrooms aside to cool. Cook down the liquid until approximately 1/2 cup remains. Strain the cooking liquid into a medium bowl and discard the solids.
  • Shred the meat off of the squirrel, being sure to remove all bones. Pile the squirrel meat and mushrooms together, then chop finely with a knife. Stir the squirrel meat into the bowl of cooking liquid.
  • Making the Ravioli
  • Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and sage, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add to the bowl of squirrel meat and stir in. Taste the meat and add salt and pepper if necessary (remember there will be dough around the meat so it should be well seasoned).
  • Put in fridge to cool while you make pasta dough.
  • If making your own dough: follow a basic Italian pasta dough recipe and run it through the pasta maker until you get the sheets as thin as possible. Lay out a sheet on a floured work surface and add a teaspoon of squirrel filling every two inches. Lay down another pasta sheet over top of the one with the fillings. Smooth the pasta sheet with your fingertips, working around the filling to get the air bubbles out. Press to seal the edges and sides. Cut the sheets in half and then into strips. Trim into 2 1/2- 3-inch ravioli squares. You’ll end up with lots of pasta scraps (boil these for rustic noodles if you’d like).
  • Either freeze individually on a sheet pan, then pour into a bag or container to store in the freezer, or proceed with the recipe.
  • If using wonton wrappers: Add a teaspoon of filling into the center of the wonton wrapper. Wet the edges, then fold it over, pressing the edges to seal.
  • Cooking the Ravioli
  • To cook the ravioli, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the ravioli rise and float to the top.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and let them cook until they crisp up. Transfer to a paper towel. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring often, until they and the butter start to brown. Add the ravioli to the skillet, tossing them in the brown butter. Cook for 1 minute. Add the sage leaves back in and take off of the heat.
  • Serve with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!

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Adam Berkelmans

Adam Berkelmans, also known as The Intrepid Eater, is a passionate ambassador for real food and a proponent of nose to tail eating. He spends his time between Ottawa and a cozy lake house north of Kingston, Ontario. When not cooking, he can be found hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening, reading, traveling, and discovering new ways to find and eat food.

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