These exclusive recipes are pulled directly from Gourmet's archive. They have not been re-tested by our food editors since they were published in the magazine, but they're a pretty good indication of the kinds of things we once cooked—and ate—with great pleasure.

Roast Beaver Michigan

Originally published November 1960

First trap your beaver. Then…

Disjoint an 8- to 10-pound beaver and remove all the surface fat. Cover the meat with a solution of 1 quart water and 1 tablespoon baking soda and parboil it for 10 minutes. Drain the meat, cover it with strips of bacon and onion rings, and roast it in a moderate oven (350° F.) until it is well done. Season the roast with salt and pepper to taste.

Creamed Woodchuck

Originally Published November 1942

Skin and cut a 6- to 8-pound woodchuck into serving pieces (being careful to remove the kernels under the forelegs and in the small of the back). Soak the pieces for at least 3 hours (overnight is better) in salted water to cover. Wash the pieces well, rinse them in several fresh waters, and drain thoroughly. Put the meat in a stewpot with boiling water to cover and let it boil violently for 15 minutes. At the end of this time the original quantity of water will be reduced by half, and the meat will have retained all its juices. Reduce the flame, and let the meat simmer gently until it is tender. Add 1 generous cup heavy sweet cream, 2 tablespoons butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Note that this is the first time that salt and pepper have been added. Simmer for 5 minutes longer, then thicken the gravy with a little flour, stirred to a paste with cold water. Serve the creamed woodchuck with baking powder biscuits and boiled yams.

Roast Raccoon

Originally Published October 1950

Skin and carefully clean a young raccoon, removing the kernels from the small of the back. Hang it for several frosty nights in the open air. When ready to cook, parboil for 1 hour in salted water with 1 onion stuck with 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 2 pods chili pepper seeds and veins removed, and 1 carrot, sliced. Bake the raccoon as for roasted opossum and garnish with candied yams.

Squirrel in Cider

Originally Published October 1954

Skin, clean, and disjoint 3 plump squirrels. Soak the pieces in cold salted water for 20 minutes, wipe dry, and dust with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a heavy skillet sauté 1/4 cup diced fat ham until browned. Add the squirrel and brown the pieces well on all sides in the ham fat. Add enough hard cider barely to cover the squirrel, cover the skillet, and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is tender. Add 2 tablespoons butter, increase the heat, and quickly brown the pieces of meat once more. Remove the squirrel to a warm serving platter and to the juices remaining in the skillet add in 1 cup hot cream and stir in all the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. Stir in, bit by bit, 1/2 tablespoon flour mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon butter, correct the seasoning with salt and pepper, and strain the sauce into a gravy boat. Serve the sauce separately.


Originally published October 1954

Cut a large dressed hare, or jack-rabbits, into serving pieces and let the pieces stand for 24 to 48 hours in a cool place, well covered with a marinade of 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup each of water and claret, 2 large onions, sliced, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, crushed juniper berries, and freshly ground black pepper, 8 whole cloves, and 3 bay leaves. Turn the meat every 12 hours.

When ready to cook, dry the pieces of hare, dust them lightly with flour, and sauté in 1/3 cup hot butter or good fat until well browned on all sides. Drain the excess fat from the pan. Strain the marinade, dilute it with 1/2 cup hot water, and pour it over the meat to cover. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover the pan tightly, and simmer the hare for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and a little sugar if desired.

Arrange the meat on a heated platter and pour over it the gravy, strained and thickened with a little flour if necessary. Serve with potato dumplings.
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