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The idea of eating invasive species is here to stay. Whether it is efficacious or not from an ecological management perspective, chefs and eaters can’t resist the idea that the solution to a complex problem might include finding new ways to cook novel ingredients. _This is a recipe for grey squirrel [Sciurus carolinensis] which is invasive in Ireland, and outcompetes the endangered red squirrel [Sciurus vulgaris] for food and space. There have even been ‘save a red, eat a grey’ campaigns in the UK, but as yet no recipes that include ‘the black stuff.’ _You may want to check with local authorities to see if they allow hunting, where the best locations to harvest grey squirrels are, and any recommendations on catching or dressing the animals.

2 - 3 squirrels, cut into pieces [roughly 1 kg of meat]
2 tablespoons oil
6 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 fresh tomato chopped or ½ can of chopped tomato
1 large onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
300 ml Guinness stout beer
250 ml beef or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried thyme [or 1½ tablespoons fresh thyme]
2 tablespoons of butter
Fresh parsely, chopped


_Combine the flour and half of the salt and pepper in a bowl. Clean and cut up the squirrels into pieces and cover with the remaining salt and pepper. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the squirrel to the pan and cook until browned on the outside but not cooked, or about 2 minutes per side.
_Add the tomato, onions, garlic, and 50 ml. of Guinness to the pan. Cover and cook gently for 3 minutes.
_Add the carrots, thyme, broth and remaining Guinness to the pan. Partially cover and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally, adding water if necessary. Just before serving melt in the 2 tablespoons of butter into the stew and salt & pepper to taste. Serve with chopped fresh parsley.