Traveling Missouri’s highways this time of year, you will most certainly find your senses assaulted by a familiar odor. You might wrinkle your nose at the smell of skunk, but when we advertised the Roadkill Café in January, it was filled within three days. Outdoor Skills Specialist Larry Lindeman and I were shocked. Maybe the article wasn’t clear. I read the notice in the paper. No, it was pretty clear. We were going to cook and eat animals that are often seen alongside the road. These animals included deer, rabbit, squirrel and the highlight—skunk.
When people arrived, we had set the stage for the workshop by transforming the classroom into a café, complete with candles, roses and checked tablecloths. We spent the day with 20 people who were not the least bit squeamish about eating any of the dishes we prepared—beaver pot roast, beaver jerky, venison chili, rabbit and dressing and roast skunk with carrots and potatoes. With recipes and direction from Larry, the participants transformed the provided ingredients into a variety of dishes that might please the most discerning pallet. And before you ask, yes I did. Not a lot mind you, but enough that I can say I ate skunk and beaver. How many people can say that?
Okay, maybe dressing and preparing skunk just isn’t your thing. I can completely understand that. But there are lots of ways to prepare animals that people don’t often eat. The beaver fajitas were wonderful! I didn’t eat the bacon-wrapped mallard since I am not a fan of jalapeños, but the people who did said it was very tasty. Point is, give it a try! Remember asking those kids who didn’t want to eat green beans, “How do you know 'til you try it?” What a great thing to do with your family. Have your own Roadkill Café or beast feast.
Try a recipe from Bernadette Dryden’s new "Cooking Wild in Missouri," or "Cy Littlebee’s Guide to Cooking Fish & Game" (see the Nature Shop link below). Or check out our cooking section under Related Information.
If you just can’t wait to try your hand at cooking skunk, here’s Larry’s recipe:
Skunk Pot Roast
2 whole, skinned, dressed skunks
4 carrots scraped or scrubbed cut into 3-inch sections
3 medium-sized washed quartered potatoes (may peel if desired)
1 large onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, garlic powder or garlic salt to taste
1 tbsp. liquid smoke
3 celery stalks cut into 3-inch pieces
1-1 ½ tbsp. of your favorite meat seasonings
½ tsp. meat tenderizer
4 oz. (6 strips) uncooked bacon
Salt and pepper to taste (I prefer lemon pepper.)
3 or 4 bay leaves
Brown skunk in bacon fat in large frying pan (optional). Then place in electric roasting pan (may use large crock pot depending on size of skunk), add vegetables and seasonings, cut two lemons in half and squeeze out the juice over the skunk. Cover with adequate water and simmer on low overnight.
Garnish with thin, fresh lemon slices, parsley and serve hot.