If you're looking for something cheaper than filet mignon to feed your sweetie this Valentine's Day, the Missouri Department of Conservation has got you covered — with a new recipe and video promoting squirrel sausage.
Posted on Facebook Tuesday, the department's "Squirrel Country Sausage" recipe calls for four and a half pounds of meat, which is apparently about fifteen squirrels — or roughly half the population occupying that tree outside your apartment.
The department's answer to Martha Stewart, a woman named Martha Daniels, provides a voiceover to the short video accompanying the recipe. She notes that squirrel meat is often full of tendons, making it time-consuming to chop by hand. Make sure you don’t keep your lover waiting — grind the squirrel meat in a food processor.
From there it's a breeze. Mix the meat with onions, garlic, and spices, and form into small patties. Although circular patties cook more evenly, you can also shape your squirrel sausage into hearts, flowers, or any shape you might desire.
If you’re smothering your meat in a bold tomato sauce, pair with a merlot; if a light cream is more your caliber, try a chardonnay. If you’re braising your squirrel in wine, a dry red like a cabernet or shiraz will give the sausage some extra oomph.
Judging by the reaction on Facebook, many Missourians are on board for a squirrel feast — but others are skeptical.
But you can't argue with success: The video has drawn more than 1,000 shares, with comments from viewers as far away as Hawaii. Who knew squirrels were such a universal foodstuff?
And hey, if you're up for the squirrel part, but your Valentine's Day already has enough sausage in it, the Department of Conservation website also features recipes
for Italian-style rosemary parmesan squirrel, skillet squirrel simmered in mushroom gravy, and hearty squirrel-and-dumpling stew.
It even includes a handy guide on how to clean a squirrel in preparation for your enchanting evening. Happy Valentine's Day.