Potpie is the definition of American home cooking. While traditionally made with chicken, squirrel is a fantastic wild-game substitute. The meat takes well to a variety of recipes and cooking techniques and it can be used in place of poultry, rabbit, and other mild, white meats. It’s such a good stand-in that most folks wouldn’t even notice they were eating it unless you told them. Tender squirrel meat folded into a hearty gravy and wrapped in flaky, homemade dough is the perfect way to celebrate the fall hunting seasons and introduce new people to wild game cooking.
Homemade pie dough is unquestionably the best option for an authentic potpie, but if you lack the skills or the time to pull it off, store-bought doughs or even canned biscuits will get the job done. (We won’t judge you.)
This recipe is written for large pie pans and casserole dishes, but it will scale to whatever size you want. If you’re in need of some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food and you’ve got a few squirrels to play with, you won’t be disappointed by this potpie.
- 2 to 3 squirrels
- 4 to 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk or cream
- 1 cup carrots, cubed
- 1 cup peas
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
- 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg, beaten for brushing
Squirrel Potpie Directions
- Skin, gut, and clean your squirrels and then place them in a slow cooker. Cover the squirrels with water, add a pinch of salt, then cook on high until the meat is tender and cooked through. This usually takes 3 to 5 hours.
- Pull the squirrel meat off the bone and set it aside. Strain, filter, and save the cooking liquid.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a sauce pot, then sweat the diced onion. Add 3/4 cup flour and lightly toast the mix. Remove half of the roux (the flour-butter mix) and set it aside.
- Whisk the cream and the strained squirrel stock into the pot, then add the squirrel meat, veggies, and seasoning. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, whisking periodically. Whisk in more of the roux as needed until the gravy becomes very thick.
- Add the dry pie-dough ingredients to a food processor. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch cubes and add it to the dry ingredients.
- Pulse in the food processor until the butter is incorporated into the flour in pea-sized pieces. Add the water in small amounts, while continuing to pulse periodically.
- Move the dough to a floured surface and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and set it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Return the dough to the floured surface, cut it into two even portions, then roll each portion into thin pie crusts.
- Lightly oil your pie pan and lay a dough sheet over the top. Spoon in the squirrel gravy filling, then cover with the second layer of dough. Cut most of the excess dough from the outside, then tuck and pinch the dough neatly around the edge of the pan. You can omit the bottom crust for a more casserole-style pie, if desired.
- Brush the pie crust with a wash of beaten egg and place it in a 425-degree oven. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the dough is dry and begins to brown. Brush again with the egg wash and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or until the whole crust is brown and flaky.
When it comes to comfort food, the classics executed perfectly will outshine even the fanciest, most complex recipes. A squirrel potpie fresh out of the oven in all its golden brown glory is the ultimate example of simple done right. Share this recipe with your nonhunting friends and family, and they’ll be begging you to take them along this squirrel season.