Monday, June 22, 2009

Alpine rabbit stew

I was shopping at one of my favorite Asian markets the other day and happened across frozen whole rabbit. I have had rabbit only once or twice and probably not for decades, so I picked one up.

By far the most impressive treatment I found online was a recipe for Alpine rabbit stew. I did something similar. I added mushrooms and did not have juniper berries, but otherwise it was pretty close.

My rabbit was well dressed but did not have any internal organs.

The bacon was uncured Hormel product, with no nitrates or nitrites. I probably should have had more onion in my mirepoix.

I used an Italian Malbec wine, which was fairly dry and plenty fine for drinking. We had a chianti with dinner, though.

These Italian tomatoes were $4, or about three times what I usually pay. I imagine Central Market has canned San Marzanos, but I didn't go there. Flavor was very nice, with none of the tinny character that I find even in the ones that are supposedly in cans with non-reactive liners. Ooh! Fat free!

Rosemary, oregano, and thyme were all fresh from the garden.

I mixed about a cup of grated parmigiano reggiano into the polenta, as well as about a half cup of basil from the garden.

Everyone liked both stew and polenta. I do have to say that if I made the same dish with chicken thighs it would have been nearly identical and a lot cheaper. From what I've read, that may not be unexpected from a young farm-raised rabbit. A wild hare might impart a more uniquely rabbity flavor. I guess I'll have to visit Green Lake some morning.

I probably could have browned these a little more.

One element that I would not have thought to include, but that I think was a critical component, is the cinnamon stick. I don't particularly care for cinnamon when it is a dominant flavor, but it contributed a very pleasant depth to the overall experience. I find the same to be true of some Moroccan dishes.

So...very tasty. I'd try it again with chicken, and I'd try it again with a different sort of rabbit.

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