Raccoon is not the prized venison backstrap or wild turkey breast of game meats by any means. It’s considered a varmint and is generally a food associated with poverty that's eaten out of necessity. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Raccoon can be delicious, especially when braised, shredded, and served on crispy tortillas with fresh cilantro. To read more on the process of overcoming the bias around eating raccoon, check out my recently published article here.
Please note: Raccoons can be a vector for trichinosis as well as some other pathogens. You need to handle the meat with care and cook it to an appropriate temperature. Be sure that the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit at some point while cooking.
- 4 raccoon hindquarters
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 canned chipotle peppers in adobo
- 1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- ½ cup lime juice, fresh
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 qt. stock
- ¼ cup duck or goose fat (substitute lard)
Also works with
- In a food processor, combine onion, garlic, chipotle peppers, spices, vinegar, lime juice, and salt. Pulse until fairly smooth, set aside.
- Brown hindquarters in an oiled pan over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes each side. Try your best to get them evenly browned on all sides.
- Place meat in dutch oven or slow cooker. Add puree mixture and stock, cover, and cook on low for 2 to 4 hours, check every 30 minutes after the first hour for tenderness. Remove from heat as soon as the meat is easy to pull off the bone.
- Pull meat from bones and coat in a few tablespoons of duck fat, place in serving bowl and add some of the braising liquid. Serve with any combination of tortillas, rice, beans, avocado, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, queso dip, and tomatoes.