Eastern Shore Muskrat
Once braised, muskrat meat can be substituted for just about any pulled or pot roasted meat, but it does have a distinct flavor. Given where it lives, the cooked flesh can have a slightly muddy taste so it’s always best to soak the processed rats for at least 12 hours in a saltwater brine (1 gallon water mixed with 1 cup each kosher salt and brown sugar). After brining, pat dry and consider another soak in a wine-based marinade. Before cooking, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Charles debones the muskrats before cooking, but the quartered muskrats can also be cooked as-is and the cooked meat can be pulled from the bone when tender.
Servings: 4 people
- 4 muskrats, fur, feet, heads removed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 large onion peeled, roughly chopped
- Italian Seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut muskrats into quarters (or remove meat from the carcasses). Season liberally with olive oil, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add muskrat pieces and brown evenly on all sides.
Add wine, broth, garlic and onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is tender like pulled pork.