There may be a lot of people who have never tasted groundhogs before and they may even turn up their noses at the thought of tasting any dish wherein groundhog meat is used. Groundhogs have been cooked for a long period of time.
If you are not familiar with what a groundhog is, this is also called a woodchuck or a whistle pig. They are usually hunted in between deer season and turkey season. Believe it or not, some people hunt them for their meat. Some people have said that their meat tastes like chicken but actually, their meat tastes like a groundhog and it is not hard to appreciate.
If you have decided that you would like to cook a groundhog too, the first thing that you should do is to catch one. Hunting for one can be easy as long as you have the right gear and you know how to properly approach the groundhog without being detected. Once you have hunted the groundhog, it is time to start cooking!
Cleaning the Groundhog
It may be a bit tricky to clean if it is your first time but follow these instructions and you would be cleaning like a pro in no time:
- The first thing that you have to do is to drain the groundhog’s blood. This is somewhat similar to other animals that you would hunt.
- Remove all the entrails of the groundhog.
- Its body cavity should also be clean.
- Hang them for about 2 days before you can skin them.
- Prepare salt water and put the groundhog meat for about a day. This is optional but a lot of people like doing this to ensure that the groundhog meat is clean.
- There are some scent glands that you have to remove from the groundhogs usually located at the back and forearms.
- Decide how you would like to cook it.
Cooking the Groundhog
Now that you know how to clean the groundhog, you have to decide what recipe you are going to do. There are a lot of hunters who actually like younger groundhogs because they have a more tender type of meat. It is important that you will remove the fat that you do not feel you need before cooking although of course, there are some who like the fat to stay.
If you like to make a groundhog stew, then do the following:
- Prepare potatoes, carrots and onions.
- Place the groundhog meat ahead of time so that it can be tenderized.
- Add the potatoes, carrots and onions.
- You can also add other ingredients depending on how you want the stew to taste.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Some people add chili as well.
- Cook until done.
If you would like to have baked groundhog, you can do the following procedure:
- After soaking the groundhog in salt water overnight, you need to drain the excess water.
- Place the flavoring that you want. Most people like rubbing it with some dry herbs and olive oil like how you would usually flavor other types of meat.
- Place the meat in a brown paper bag before baking so that the paper can absorb the grease and seal in the flavor.
If you would like to have fried groundhog, then doing it will be possible if you follow these steps:
- Clean the groundhog as usual.
- Flavor the groundhog before wrapping in a mix that you use for frying.
- Some people prefer placing it in flour like how they cook chicken.
- Don’t forget to add salt and pepper.
- Deep fry in your choice of oil.
If you would like to grill groundhogs, then this is possible too. Just do the following:
- Slice the groundhog and place it in salt water overnight.
- Remove the excess water and place it in sticks similar to how you would cook a kebab.
- Add some bell peppers and onions on each side of the stick so that the flavors will spread to the groundhog meat.
- Grill in big fire or through your charcoal grill until they are fully cooked.
If in case you do not like eating chunks of woodchuck meat, you can always grind it up first and make it into a groundhog patty. A lot of people like this especially those who do not want their guests to know that they are eating groundhogs.
- Grind up the woodchuck meat with the use of a grinder.
- Add salt, pepper, onions and other ingredients that you can mix in with the patty.
- Prepare the patties as usual.
- Grill the patties and serve once cooked.
Aside from the ways that you can cook groundhog meat, there are still a lot of recipes that are available although most people say that they like using the same recipes they use for cooking rabbit and deer with groundhogs because of the similar tasting meat. Just remember not to eat too much of the groundhog meat as they have a laxative effect. This may be due to their diet.