October 21, 2015

Raccoon Stew

On my last "Around The Homestead" post I mentioned getting ready to try recipes for raccoon. Dan has been interested in smoking meat, so he decided to hot smoke it. That process took a little longer than we anticipated, so we had something else for dinner that night. When it got dark out, we put the almost done raccoon in the fridge. When I later cut the meat from the bone I discovered that it was still quite pink. Raccoon is one of those meats that, like pork, is recommended to be well cooked before eating. I decided to use it to make a stew in my Crock Pot.


Raccoon Stew

A cup or two of each:
  • raccoon meat, cut into small pieces (ours was smoked)
  • carrots
  • onion
  • potato
  • turnips
1 pint jar chicken bone broth
2 heaping tablespoons flour for thickener
salt & pepper to taste

Set Crock Pot on high and cook several hours or until meat is done and vegetables tender. Add more broth if necessary. Scoop out enough broth to fill a half-pint canning jar and add the flour. Shake well until flour is well blended, add to stew and stir well. Add salt and pepper. Allow to cook awhile longer and serve with fresh bread and butter.

What did we think? It was tender and delicious! No wild or gamy taste and the smoked flavor was fantastic. We ate most of it that night and had a little leftover. To that I added a quart of canned tomatoes and we had another delicious meal from it. The best part was that we did not waste this chicken predator.

43 comments:

  1. That's great, Leigh! I've never had raccoon stew, but I don't see anything wrong with it. I'd surely eat it if they existed here in Hawaii. I've eaten plenty of different wild game, and frankly, some really needs to be smoked in order to make it acceptable to my palate. A good smoke can make just about anything taste better, as far as I'm concerned.

    Congratulations on your raccoon stew.

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    1. I think the raccoon would have been good without smoking, but this is something Dan's been anxious to try. The combination was definitely a winner. One of these days I hope to be able to share some good, informative posts on smoking.

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  2. Growing up in Louisiana I ate all sorts of wild game that most city folks would turn their noses up at...the only reason that I can think of for why I haven't tried 'coon is that my father probably never came across one he could shoot. ;) Since moving away from there I haven't had anything wild. Although I did think seriously of those 3 deer in my front yard the other day.

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    1. Your mentioning Louisiana brings back memories of crab, crawdad, and shrimp. That was where I first ate 'gator. Actually I think it was the only time I ate alligator, but I recall that it was quite good.

      I would have a serious think about those deer too. For all our deer proofing, they're still getting into my garden. :(

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    2. We were in northern LA so no crab or shrimp until we moved to FL...never had 'gator either, but I hear it is very good. Did have plenty of crawdads, catfish, gar, turtle, squirrel, frog legs, rabbit, and deer. hummm I know my dad's friend's pond had a gator that was eating his ducks...wonder why we didn't take care of that?

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  3. Heh I will save that recipe for emergencies :) I actually enjoy being a non-adventurous eater and plan to stay that way until forced into other options.

    Always good to know there are other options however :)

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    1. Ha! I would think local wild foods recipes would be close to the top of any prepper's list! I should have mentioned that there was a lot of meat on that coon. If you ever do have a chance to try it, I think you'll like it.

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    2. I think of it as storing raccoon and possum in the freshest state possible. It keeps longer that way :)

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    3. LOLOL. And the corn and chickens they steal and eat are for good meat on their bones, right? ;)

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    4. Well I admit I have not had as much experience with corn and chicken fed racoon as you but I am guessing it does make em a bit more tender.

      I haven't seen a coon around here in years. Not since the stray dog showed up and never left. So I look at it as making sure the population stays at replacement levels so I will have something to feed the starving refugees when the time comes :)

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    5. This was our first coon siting although we know they're in the area. We don't ordinarily hunt just to hunt, but we something got one of our chickens and this one being caught in the chicken yard pretty much sealed it's fate. And Dan hates to waste anything, hence, stew!

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    6. I used to hunt all the time. I pretty much hunted everything in N. America that walked, crawled or flies and was worth hunting anyway. Protecting the stock and property is mandatory to. I still enjoy the occasional hunt but rarely kill anything these days. Sport hunting takes way too much time away from Homesteading :)

      Yet if a coon starts attacking my chickens he will go down fast just like your varmint's fate!!!!

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  4. We know some folks that are trying all sorts of ole' time meats. They fixed a raccoon just like a beef roast and said it was very good. Thanks for the information, it's always good to know. I look forward to your article on smoking meat. That is one experience we have yet to try.

    Fern

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    1. I read it almost tastes like roast beef, although smoking would change that a bit, of course. We're just beginning to experiment with smoking meat and hope to do some cold smoking for preservation as well. Once we have something useful to share, I'll be writing about it.

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  5. Years ago a neighbor of Mom's had a garden and then would regularly shoot groundhogs. Then they ate them. Mom never got to taste it, but she said it smelled wonderful roasting. Have you tried groundhog? And yes, I wish I could EAT THE DEER that fatten up on all my plants. *fume* Glad you enjoyed your 'coon. :-D

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    1. If we had a groundhog that needed eliminating, we would certainly eat it. Joy of Cooking (old editions) has some good information on cooking all the small game.

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  6. Back in the day, our community used to have wild game suppers once a month and I remember eating raccoon among other things. It's been too long to remember what it tasted like but I do know it didn't taste bad or I would have remembered that like I remember eating black bear. (Very greasy and stringy!) One of my favorites was smoked eel. I remember someone brought some gator back from your neck of the woods and that was quite delicious as well.

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    1. That reminds me of Little House in the Big Woods where Laura was hoping Pa would get a bear because she loved bear meat. That's one I haven't tried, and hope we never have to due to it's trespassing on our place! I've never had eel, but hear it is very good eating.

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  7. Very timely post - I've killed a few trying to get my chickens after losing one. I skinned one of the racooons, but haven't brought myself to trying to eat them. My main hesitations are disease and supposedly some glands that it's important to avoid when processing them. Any chance Dan could tell us how to do the dirty work here?

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    1. Well, Dan isn't much of a blogger, but I can tell you that for anything new he goes to YouTube. For a hands-on resource, we have an old book that I found at a thrift shop, Butchering, Processing, and Preservation of Meat. That book has been a helpful resource.

      The glands were actually very easy to find and remove. Two were under the forelegs and two along the base of the spine. The other recommendation was to remove all the fat. Then it must be cooked well, just like pork. There was a lot of meat and it was truly delicious.

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  8. I've eaten deer and moose and turkey, and maybe bear but I don't remember for sure, but raccoon would be a new one on me. I don't think anyone I know (lots of hunters and game-eaters) eats raccoon, but now I'll have to ask around out of curiosity! I do know some folks draw the line at eating critters that themselves eat meat, and raccoons certainly fall into that category as we know to our dismay :(
    Looking forward to seeing what you do with the pelt!

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    1. Dan has the pelt salted down and is awaiting time to make his first attempt at tanning. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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  9. As I recall from my childhood, it did taste pretty good. I suppose once you get past the mental issues, there's lots of things that could be food if necessary.

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    1. Oh, way back then we did eat squirrel, raccoon, opossums (very greasy and needs cooking in ways to deal with that), gator, quail, doves, rabbit. I had black bear one time and while it wasn't awful, it wouldn't be on the top of my list either. I also don't care for wild turkey. Guess I'm accustomed to the domesticated varieties.

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    2. Some things definitely have a wild taste! The one opossum Dan got had a bullet go through it's intestines so it was a mess. We did not attempt to eat that (nor the skunk). Hopefully, we'll never have to try bear!

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  10. I'll stick to the Edenic and New Earth diets, so moving back won't be such a huge adjustment! ;-)

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    1. LOL. I figure if the Lord gave meat to Noah to eat, and told Peter to go and eat, it must be okay for us too. :)

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  11. I sure would like to try racoon once! Does it taste game and can you hunt them all year around?

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    1. Charlotte, we aren't hunters so I can't tell you about that. Dan only shoots things that are a threat to the homestead, in which case he fells badly about wasting a life. Eating it means it still has purpose, even in death. If you ever have the chance to try it, do! Very good meat.

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  12. Momma, where's the hat? If you got meat, shouldn't there be a hat?

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    1. Well, we kinda lost the tail, so there'll be no hat. :(

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  13. That's great! But don't think it is for me! Probably if I was served and didn't know the difference I would love it!! Nancy

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    1. You probably wouldn't! I've served goat meat to folks without mentioning what it was and they assumed they were eating beef. Not that it actually tastes like beef, but if you don't know, so what!

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  14. My grandfather was a coon hunter. I have several pictures of his large kills. He always basted his with butter and beer and grilled it. Topped it off with BBQ sauce and served it for Christmas. It was a family favorite!

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    1. Thank you for that! I'll have to pass it on to Dan. :)

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  15. Wow...it sounds tempting. I'd probably give it a try if someone else did the other part. A friend once had me eat "Lingua tacos" and didn't tell me what it was (mexican restaurant). It was yummy! Then they told me it was beef tongue. At the store I would have never bought beef tongue. Now it's in somewhat regular rotation at the house.

    Thanks for inspiring!

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    1. My grandmother used to by beef tongue regularly because my dad loved it sliced in sandwiches. But I don't think she ever served it for the family! (And as a kid I refused to try it).

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  16. I'm so glad you posted this! I would NEVER have thought of eating a raccoon, but I like not letting it go to waste. It was only a few years ago that I learned that a lot of people have eaten squirrel and tried that, and was surprised at how good it was.

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    1. Well, when something has to go, we always try to figure out how to make the best of it. I'm not sure where I heard of eating raccoon, maybe The Beverly Hillbillies? Definitely a meat that should not be wasted!

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  17. Good call on the slow cooker. I think with 'coons, it's important to cook 'em slow--when I was growing up, I had some rubbed with olive oil and seasonings and baked, and it was pretty good. But once, we tried to stir fry it. The flavor was great, but we could have chewed on that meat for days!

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    1. That's good information Jake, thanks!

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  18. Leigh,

    Good bye chicken predator, hello dinner table!!!

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