Rabbit Stew…

It’s been a crazy few weeks folks.  Finished one quarter of school, started another, and undertook another coop building project.  The original coop is fine for now, but maintenance and size issues may arise, so I decided to try it again.

These are the ladies trying it out for the first day.

This is the original coop finished with them living in it.  It’s on wheels, so it’s portable, albeit heavy. All in all, they like it.  Now onto some stew!

My local butcher shop always has a great selection of “other” meats.  By this I mean or course meats other than chicken, pork, and beef.  Those three meats have been embedded in the minds of Americans so we don’t know what we’re missing out on.

I picked up this lil thing because I couldn’t resist.  We have rabbits in the neighborhood, but this one saved me the time to hunt and kill the strays.  I’m kidding! I’m not going to pull a Ted Nugent and start shooting neighborhood animals now.

Cutting the rabbit into parts is a lot like cutting chicken in terms of texture. I separated it into thighs, flanks, “wings” if you will, and anything else small.

I roasted my garlic beforehand because it releases a sweet flavor and it’s seriously a heck of a lot better roasted.  Keep some roasted garlic in a jar in the fridge to eliminate this step.

I flavored my stew with lots of dried shiitake mushrooms.  The king of the dried mushroom world, this shroom adds flavor to any meat dish.  I soaked it and used that stock in my stew as well.

Browning the rabbit in batches to start the stew.

The finale, topped with sauteed mushrooms and carrots for an extra BAM!  I told my girlfriend that we had chicken stew, because she won’t eat anything “weird”.  After we were digested, I confessed it was rabbit.  Needless to say, she was a little angry.  But Kristi eventually got over it and realized that many animals are edible and quite tasty.  That was the point I tried to make.  We’re still together, so it didn’t explode in my face too bad.

Rabbit Stew

1 ounce dried shiitakes
2 heads garlic, roasted
1 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 T butter
1 rabbit, cut smaller
1 medium sweet onion
1 cup white wine, I used chenin blanc
2 cups mushroom soaking water
3 cups chicken stock
1 T dried thyme
2 carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
2 T fresh parsley

Soak dried mushrooms in 2 c hot water (under boiling).  After 20 minutes soaking, cut up mushrooms (without the stems) and save for later.  Cut the rabbit into smaller pieces and let it sit 30 minutes at room temperature.  Don’t worry about the ribs, small bones, etc.  Pick them out as you eat, because they contribute flavor.

Heat dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pan over high for a minute.  Add the fresh mushrooms and sear them.  They’ll squeak, but don’t add moisture or oil.  They’ll release some moisture, then turn heat down to medium high. Sprinkle some salt, then remove when the moisture is gone.

Add butter to pot and reduce heat to medium.  Add rabbit and brown the pieces well.  Once browned, remove from the pan. Increase heat to medium high and add onion.  Saute for 5 minutes until nicely browned. Sprinkle some salt over the onions. Meanwhile, mash up the roasted garlic and whisk into the mushroom liquid.

Add wine to the onions and deglaze the pan, scraping any browned bits on the bottom. Let it reduce to about half, and add mushroom stock.  Stir to combine and add chicken stock.  If you don’t have homemade chicken stock, used *gasp* store-bought, but add a spoonful of concentrated demi glace for flavor.

Add the thyme, all the mushrooms, rabbit, parsnip, and carrots.  Cover and bring to a simmer.

Simmer 2 hours (or 90 minutes).  Remove the rabbit to cut into shreds if you wish and pick out all the tiny bones. If it’s not thick enough, add some buerre manie and taste for flavoring.  Add salt/pepper as needed.

Serve warm with garlic bread and a nice full bodied red wine.

*next up…roasted garlic…*


One Response

  1. awesome chickadees and yummy food..delish.

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