I used squirrel, but this recipe works just fine with just about any kind of meat. You can use squirrel, rabbit, chicken, duck, venison and beef or pork. You can even add vegetables and make a stew.|
I used a Lodge 2 quart, 8", #8CO2 Camp Dutch Oven. It's the perfect size Dutch oven for 1 or 2 people. In fact, mine is my favorite Dutch oven, and when my ship comes in I'm getting another one. Big Dutch ovens are great for scout troops and families, but they're terrible for crotchety old bachelors like me. My little 2 quart Camp Dutch Oven also fits the burners on my gas stove. The legs sit perfectly down in the grate.
1 sectioned squirrel (about 1 lb) For the roux:
1/4 cup oil
5 cups water more or less
Butt 4 chunks of firewood together into an X with maybe a 4" x 4" space in the middle and use twigs and sticks and build a small fire in the space. As it burns down, add sticks until you've got a bed of coals. Notice in the above photo that my fire is smaller in diameter that my 8" pot. Simply lower the pot to the point where it touches or almost touches the coals. It will get plenty hot enough to make a roux, and you won't break a sweat as you squat there and stir.
Stir the meat-roux mixture for a minute or so until the meat turns white on the surface. That means that it has started to cook. Your roux will turn lumpy, but don't worry. If you want some chopped bell peppers or onions in your gravy, now's the time to add them. Just throw them in there with the meat.
This is what your meat-roux mixture will look like when you're ready to add the water and the spices.
Please note that this frugal outdoorsman premixed his water and spices in an empty soft drink jug.
We're now ready to relax and let the pot simmer. When the mixture begins to boil, put the lid on the pot and raise the chain or the rope a couple of inches. Watch your fire. If it gets too low, use your toe and nudge the firewood chunks closer together. You want small flames only. Steadily rising smoke and no flames is better.
If you're simmering something tender, say young squirrel, rabbit, or chicken, simmer for at least 2 hours. If you're simmering something tough, say old squirrel or venison or beef, simmer for 3 hours. Add water if the gravy gets too thick. Add a little flour or cornstarch if the gravy isn't thick enough.
Serve this mighty fine squirrel in gravy over rice or mashed potatoes. Sop the gravy with a cathead biscuit. Chase with buttermilk. Fill belly. Sleep. Worry about how the po' folks live.
Guess what? Some of us live and eat mighty damn fine.
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