(Not Really) Squirrel Biscuits and Gravy
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
I’m an Iraqi war sailor. Most of my career I’ve ridden a desk and gotten cutesy cartoon tattoos drawn in San Bernardino. I tailor my kicks to gin martinis and trips to Buffalo Wild Wings to play trivia. I watch reruns of Community and a lot of Judge Judy.
Grandpa Beryle was a World War II sailor. He rode the USS Chester through Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea and finally lost a leg in a torpedo attack off of Guam. He had dancing girl tattoos inked in Pacific Island hula huts. He drank whisky and steel, had barroom brawls, and picked up exotic girls like I pick up cups of coffee. He watched Imperial Empires sink to the bottom of the ocean.
He was the man. One of my treasured possessions is his cookbook, yellowed and fading. It’s got newspaper articles from Kuntz Lake Indiana, where he finally retired. Some recipes, in his manly script are judged “lousey” or “good enough.” Besides his predilection for WWII candy stripers (stripers not strippers – though..well..probably), he liked whatever wild game he could catch in his wooded back lot. His cookbook is filled with venison, quail, and a bunch of rabbit recipes. There’s a few squirrel ones tucked duct tape repaired pages.
Here’s my Grandpa’s recipe for squirrel biscuits and gravy, word for word. In the actual preparation, I replaced squirrel with ground pork maple sausage. I also used canned biscuits – Harriet’s Southern Biscuit recipe lost to posterity. If you’re gonna use real squirrel, well, you may join Grandpa in the pantheon of awesomeness. You can strip poker with him, Mata Hari, Cleopatra, Jane Russell and Teddy Roosevelt whilst drinking single malt scotch.
- ½ pound fresh ground squirrel
- 2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tube of your favorite biscuits
This dish is made in a frying pan. Heat the pan and fry the sausage and onion until the sausage is brown and the onion clear. Stir in the flour and cook for just a minute. Don't burn it. Congratulations, you've just made a roux. Add the milk. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, then season with salt and pepper. I doubt you will need much salt and pepper, but it will be a must. Serve over warm opened biscuits. Really, I used the canned kind. If you make yours from scratch, well, God luv ya.
Grandpa used hot milk, Harriet's Southern Biscuits and demanded "a hot oiled black frying pan." I'm not that persnickety. Oh, and no shit, he used squirrel.
There you go. I’m going to go do something manly. I’m sure Grandpa, looking down on me, saw me reading the Cosmo article, “The 20 best wine spritzers the pair with kale.” So, if you need your oil changed as I brood, light my chest hair afire, and simultaneously brake a wild bronco, let me know.
No actual squirrels were harmed in making today’s recipe.