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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.  
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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.