I’ve had a lot of feedback on my other articles about cooking raccoons. Raccoons taste good when properly cared for from field to table. These are some recipes my family enjoys.

Wash coon well, remove fat and underarm kernel. Place the coon on its back on a cutting board. Cut into the rear leg at a point near the backbone. When you come to leg bone, stop cutting. Bend the back leg to pop the ball-and-socket joint. Cut through the joint to remove the leg. Repeat with the other leg. Split each rear leg in two at the knee. Remove the front legs by cutting close to the rib cage and behind the shoulder blades. The legs come off easier this way because you don’t cut through the joints. Cut each leg into at the elbow. Cut the back into two or three pieces. Remove the rib cage, if desired. Also, you can split the back along the spine, making four to six pieces if you wish.

Coonpfeffer

3 to 3 ½ pounds raccoon pieces

Marinade:
2 cups red wine
1-cup water
½ cup cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
½ cup all-purpose flour

Sauce:
6 slices bacon, cut up
8 ounces fresh mushrooms cut into quarters
1 cup chopped onion
1 to 3 tablespoons butter
1-teaspoon salt
½ cup dairy sour cream

In large glass mixing bowl, combine raccoon pieces and all marinade ingredients. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days, turning coon pieces daily. Lift coon pieces out of marinade. Pat dry with paper towels; set aside. Strain and reserve 1½ cups marinade, discarding herbs and excess marinade. Place flour on a sheet of waxed paper. Add coon pieces, turning to coat. In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetable mixture with slotted spoon; set aside. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Add coon pieces. Brown on all sides, adding additional butter if needed. Return vegetable mixture to Dutch oven. Add salt and reserved marinade. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer until coon pieces are tender, 2½ to 3¼ hours. With slotted spoon, transfer coon pieces to heated serving platter. Set aside and keep warm. Blend sour cream into cooking liquid. Cook over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally; do not boil. Serve sauce over coon. Serves 4 to 6.

Baked Coon with Southern Dressing

1 small coon or hindquarters and loin of larger young coon, 2 to 2½ pounds dressed weight
3 to 4 cups cold water
1 Tablespoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper

Wrap coon in waxed paper or foil and chill thoroughly or freeze for several hours. Trim off all but a thin layer of fat and any discolored spots. Wash the coon well in lukewarm water. Cut whole coon or hindquarters and loin into 4 pieces. Put coon pieces into 3-quart kettle; add water, salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to simmering, cover, and cook until tender, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours depending on the age of the coon. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare dressing. Pour dressing into a casserole. Lay coon over top and press down into dressing. Cover and bake until coon is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover and continue baking until coon and dressing are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Serve with pickled beets or sauerkraut.

Southern Dressing

6 slices white bread, 2 days old but not dry
½ cup finely chopped onions
1½ Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-teaspoon sage
2 small eggs
1 cup coon broth, from parboiling coon or 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1-cup water

Tear bread into coarse crumbs and drop into mixing bowl. Add rest of ingredients and stir gently until well blended. Serves 4.

Barbecued Coon

1 medium size young coon or 2 small, 4½ to 5 pounds dressed weight
1/3 to ½ cup 5% cider vinegar
1½ quarts cold water
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2½ Tablespoons salt
3 to 4 pounds sweet potatoes

Wrap coon in waxed paper or foil and chill thoroughly or freeze for several hours. Trim off all but a thin layer of fat any discolored spots. Wash the coon well in lukewarm water. Put coon into a 5-quart kettle, add cold water, salt, and well-crushed red pepper. Heat to boiling, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until coon is about tender, about 60-–90 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove coon from broth to a roasting pan with a cover. Drizzle vinegar over outside and inside of coon, sprinkle with black pepper and if desired more crushed red pepper. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Meanwhile pare sweet potatoes, boil gently in water or coon broth, to cover, for 15 minutes. Arrange drained sweet potatoes over coon and bake uncovered until potatoes and coon are attractively brown, about 45 minutes. For a tangier BBQ flavor, more vinegar may be drizzled over coon before potatoes are added. If you like, a little sugar may be sifted over potatoes before starting to bake. Serves 8.

Coon and Kraut

1 medium size young coon
Flour
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil
1 medium apple, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1-pound sauerkraut
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
6-pack beer

Wrap coon in waxed paper or foil and chill thoroughly or freeze for several hours. Trim off all but a tin layer of fat and any discolored spots. Wash the coon well in lukewarm water. Cut coon into serving pieces. Combine salt, pepper, and flour. Dredge coon in flour mixture. Brown in olive oil. In another pan, sauté the apples and onions in olive oil until tender. Drain and wash the sauerkraut and add it to the apples and onions along with the caraway seeds and enough beer to simmer the sauerkraut. Drink rest of beer while sauerkraut mixture simmers for about 20 minutes. Mix in raccoon pieces and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours, adding beer as the mixture begins to dry out. Serves 8.

Raccoon Stew

1 4-pound raccoon, cut into cubes
2 or 3 onions, sliced
3 cups canned tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper
Bay leaf
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Carrots
Onions
Potatoes
Turnips

Brown the meat cubes slowly in a Dutch oven. There should be enough fat within the tissues that no additional oil is required. Add onion during the last of the browning process so they will not become scorched. Reduce the heat, add enough tomatoes and liquid to cover the meat, season, and cover. Simmer over low heat until almost completely tender. Add cubed vegetables of your choice and continue to simmer until vegetables are ready.

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