Friday, 17 August 2012

Recipe: Rat Pickle

This recipe has a bit of history to it. Many years ago, a colleague said something to me (I don't remember what it was) which I misinterpreted as "rat pickle". Afterwards, when we'd stopped laughing, I happened to wonder if rat pickle was actually possible and I asked the best pickle artist I have ever known (my grandmother, who was still alive then) about it. She thought it over (let me explain here that she was a strict vegetarian, before you go getting ideas) and then said it just might be done...

So here is what we thought up between us. If you should be moved to try it, by all means go ahead, and let me

                                                    RAT PICKLE

Two large freshly killed rats (not poisoned, we're not doing Tiger Fugu here, thank you very much);
A quarter of a litre of olive oil (any olive oil, not necessarily extra virgin stuff, whatever that might be);
Two large lemons;
Five large dried red chillies;
100 grams of mint;
Turmeric powder;
Salt to taste.

Using a sharp knife, cut the heads, paws and tails off the rats and skin what's left. Slit open the abdominal cavities and gut the rats completely, removing all viscera. Wash the carcasses thoroughly in running water.

Boil the carcasses for five minutes in water, then dry the carcasses in the sun for a day. Chop them into small pieces.

Break the red chillies into small pieces (this is easy if the chilies are thoroughly dry). Mix the rat meat and chillies together with 100 ml olive oil, enough turmeric powder to give a yellow colour, and salt to taste.

Chop 100 grams of mint into small pieces - as small as you can get them. Squeeze the juice from the lemons (it will come to about 200 ml) and mix the juice and mint with the prepared rat meat.

Take a big jar and put in the mix of rat meat, mint, lemon juice, et al. Add 150 ml more olive oil on top and close the lid tightly.

Sun the jar daily for a month until the colour changes to brown. Then it's...uh...ready for eating.

Bon appetit, people.

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