Smoked Rattlesnake Stew

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Rattlesnake is good food, a very lean and healthy meat. However, unless you know how to prepare it, the meat can be rather tough, and might bring to mind a lithe, half-starved tilapia. This Smoked Rattlesnake Stew recipe is my favorite way to prepare rattlesnake. The meat will be tender and juicy.

Smoked Rattlesnake Stew Public Domain

And because the recipe calls for already smoked, boned, and canned rattlesnake meat, it saves you the other major headache of preparing rattlesnake: getting the edible meat off of the bones. It is no easy task, trust one who has tried it!

Smoked Rattlesnake Stew

(Photo Attributed to Author: Joe Loong)

This Smoked Rattlesnake Stew recipe will feed two very hungry people as a meal main entree. If it is being served as a side dish, you can divide it into 4 to 6 servings.

Smoked Rattlesnake Stew Recipe-

  • 8 oz. can of deboned and smoked rattlesnake meat
  • 1 quart lamb broth
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled, and rough chopped
  • 2 uncooked ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 1 large ripe red tomato, cored and rough chopped
  • 1 large potato, skin left on, chopped into small (1/4″ – 1/2″) dices
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, and chopped into small (1/4″ – 1/2″) dices
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, chopped fine (or to taste, and also optional – I like my Smoked Rattlesnake Stew very hot-spicy. If you prefer a milder stew, use only one pepper, and for milder still, remove the seeds)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp. dried and crushed basil
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. good quality cognac
  1. Take the smoked snake out of the can (reserve the brine) and, using two forks, shred the meat. Set aside for now.
  2. Husk the ears of corn and, using a sharp knife, slice the kernels off of the cob.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high flame, heat the oil. When the oil is sizzling hot, add in the onions and garlic, as well as the corn kernels. Now add in 1 tbsp. of cognac. Sauté in the oil and cognac, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes, until the onion and garlic are softened and fragrant, and the corn kernels are browning.
  4. Put a 2 quart cooking pot on the burner, raise the flame to high, and pour the broth into it. Add in also the reserved brine from the canned rattlesnake and 1/2 cup of cognac.
  5. Now everything goes into the pot: the diced potato and parsnip, all the spices and herbs, the shredded snake meat, the sautéed onion, garlic and corn, the chopped tomato, salt and pepper, and the jalapenos (if using).
  6. Bring the stew to a vigorous, rolling boil, then reduce the flame to just a lively simmer, cover the pot, and let it gently cook for about 30 minutes. You can let it cook longer if you want to reduce the liquid more, for a thicker stew consistency. About 10 minutes before serving, do a taste test. Adjust the salt and pepper if necessary, and then allow the stew to simmer until you are ready to eat.
  7. Serve your Smoked Rattlesnake Stew while nice and hot. If you are serving the stew for a dinner meal, enjoy and aperitif of the cognac, too!

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