Bowl of Muskrat Stew
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Muskrat Stew
US Midwest to Northeast

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 main  
***
12 hr  
Yes
This is a more or less traditional Muskrat Stew, and it is delicious. Muskrat is available frozen, but still requires special preparation steps. Failure to follow these steps makes for an unpleasant dining experience. You will need to start this recipe a day ahead. See Note-4 for additional hints.



1
1-1/4
1
2
1
1/4
1
1/3
3
5-1/2
1
1/4
------

#
#
c
c
c
t
t
T
c
t
t
---
Muskrat (1)
Potatoes (2)
Onions
Tomatoes, canned
Corn, canned
Flour
Salt
Pepper
Fat or Oil (3)
Water
Thyme, dry
Cayenne
-- Garnish
Parsley
Prep   -   (12 hrs - 1-1/4 hrs work)
  1. Starting the day before serving, prepare your MUSKRAT as described on our Muskrat page.
  2. Cut Potatoes into about 1 inch chunks. Hold in cold water until needed.
  3. Peel ONIONS and chop small.
  4. Chop TOMATOES from a 28 oz can coarse. Add enough of their juice to make up 2 cups.
  5. Drain CORN.
  6. Chop PARSLEY for Garnish.
Run   -   (4-3/4 hrs)
  1. In a pot, set 5-1/2 cups Water to come to a boil while frying the Muskrat.
  2. Mix Flour with Salt and Pepper. Roll Muskrat in flour until lightly coated.
  3. In a spacious skillet or sauté pan, heat Fat or Oil and fry Muskrat over moderate heat, tumbling now and then until lightly browned all over. Be careful the crumbs of flour do not burn, they should be reddish, not chocolate.
  4. Stir fried Muskrat, into the boiling water, leaving as much oil behind as you can, but do include as much of the crumbs as you can, as they will thicken the stew. Stir in the Onions, Thyme and Cayenne. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2-1/4 hours.
  5. Stir in Potatoes and Corn. Bring back to a boil and simmer another 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in Tomatoes. Bring back to a boil and simmer another 45 minutes. Monitor thickness of the stew, keeping in mind it will be a noticeably thicker when cooled below a simmer. Add boiling water or boil uncovered as needed.
  7. Check seasoning and serve hot. See also Note-4.
NOTES:
  1. Muskrat:   As purchased, skinned, cleaned and head-on, the Muskrat should weigh at least 1-3/4 pounds. It requires very special preparation, so follow instruction on our Muskrat page completely and exactly.
  2. Potatoes:   White Rose or similar are good here. Avoid Yukon Gold type potatoes as they will disintegrate into mush with the long cooking required here. For details see our Potatoes page.
  3. Fat/Oil:   Some recipes use bacon drippings, salt pork or lard, but a good high temperature oil can be used - Avocado, or Pure Olive (not Virgin). I use home rendered lard, far superior to store bought and very easy to make. Some recipes call for butter, but that has a low smoke point and takes excessive attention while frying. For details see our Cooking with Oils and Fats page.
  4. Comments:   First, this is not a "white tablecloth" sort of dish. You eat the stew with a spoon, but the chunks of meat you will have to handle with your fingers. Provide dishes to receive bones, and plenty of paper napkins. Do not be daunted by the detailed instructions here and on our Muskrat page - it just isn't all that hard, and the hard work is all done ahead. This stew goes extremely well with a dark red wine such as Pinot Noir.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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