Groundhog meat is similar to other small game such as rabbit or squirrel. While young groundhogs provide tender meat, you can marinate meat from mature animals to tenderize it. Groundhog is a candidate for the slow cooker as well as for other cooking methods that also result in moist, flavorful meat.
Cut the groundhog into serving-size pieces before marinating it. Drain and discard the marinade and pat dry the pieces of meat. Dredge the meat in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and your choice of savory herbs. Cook it in hot oil, turning each piece so all sides are evenly browned. Cover the partially cooked meat with water or broth, place a tight-fitting lid on the pan and let it simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. You'll need to check often and add more liquid as necessary to prevent scorching.
Marinate groundhog pieces overnight. Drain the meat and parboil it for about an hour, then remove the meat from the bones, discarding the bones. Return the meat to the broth. To make stew, simply add potatoes, onions, bell peppers, carrots and celery and simmer until everything is tender. If you want gravy, stir in flour to thicken the broth before serving. Make groundhog pie by parboiling groundhog meat with vegetables. Place the cooked meat and vegetables in a baking dish, top them with biscuits and bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until the biscuits are fluffy and golden. Alternatively, drop the biscuit dough into the simmering pot to make dumplings for a stovetop version.
Remove the uncooked meat from the bones and grind it to hamburger consistency. Mix in finely chopped onions, green pepper and snipped parsley. Add optional finely crushed breadcrumbs for texture. Shape the meat mixture into patties, dip them into beaten egg and then into more breadcrumbs, and fry them in a small amount of oil in a skillet. Serve the crispy-coated, golden-brown patties plain or on a bun. Alternatively, place the browned patties in a baking dish and pour tomato sauce you've enhanced with herbs, Worcestershire sauce or other seasonings over them. Bake the patties at about 350 F until the sauce is bubbly.
Groundhog is lean meat that can quickly cook dry on a grill, but it's perfect for moist-grill methods such as heavy-on-the-sauce barbecue. Parboil the pieces first, then transfer them to the grill and brush on plenty of your favorite sauce. To use a grill rotisserie, brush the groundhog surfaces with oil and sear the meat to seal in the juices. Then adjust the grill so the meat is in the heat zone but out of flames. If you're cooking on an open campfire spit, cook the meat over hot coals. A tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the spit helps prevent drying out, and it concentrates the flavors if you're burning hickory or fruit woods.
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Woodchuck Information
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Fricasseed Raccoon or Woodchuck (Groundhog)
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Fried Woodchuck (Groundhog)
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Woodchuck (Groundhog) Pie
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Woodchuck (Groundhog) Stew
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Woodchuck (Groundhog) Meat Patties with Tomato Sauce
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension: Woodchuck Patties (also for raccoon or opossum)