By Mississippi State BHA
3 lbs of squirrel legs and saddles
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon of Prague Powder #2 (optional)
Tablespoon of dried thyme
2 teaspoons of fresh cracked black pepper
3 bay leaves
5-6 cups of rendered fat such as duck, goose, chicken, or lard
Combine all seasonings together then coat the squirrel in it, massaging it into the meat. Seal in a vacuum sealed bag or a zip lock with the air taken out overnight.
The next day, rinse the seasoning off of the meat and set aside to dry.
Preheat an oven to 225 degrees. Once the oven comes to temp, place a Pyrex baking dish with the lard in it to melt. Once the lard has melted, place the meat in one layer, completely submerged in the fat. Cover with foil and allow to cook for 3-4 hours. When it easily pulls from the bone, it is done.
Allow to cool and pick the meat from the bones. To reheat, toss the shredded meat in a non-stick skillet and crisp it up. Can be served many ways, my favorite is with corn pancakes, roasted sweet potatoes, and a little cane syrup.
To store, place a quarter cup of fat at the bottom of a mason jar, allow it to solidify, then add the picked meat on top and cover in fat. If the Prague powder #2 is used, it can last for a year in the fridge. Prague powder #2 will also give the meat a pink color. If you don’t like that then don’t use it.