Down the Rabbit Hole

Ok, this post has nothing to do with rabbit holes! A friend of mine created a pinterest board about an Alice in Wonderland party and I am going to be talking about rabbits and how many times do you get to use that title?? Gotta take advantage 😉

Onto today’s topic, rabbits or how to cook rabbits or this one time I cooked a rabbit stew. It all begins back at the Weaverville Tailgate Market. As you remember, Sam and I were inside during the holiday part of it and our table was next to Dillingham Farm. One day, we saw that Mary had rabbits and, since we’d never eaten rabbit before, we decided to get two. We would roast one and then other would go into a stew. A couple weeks ago, we decided to invite our friends, Michael and Ginnie, over for some rabbit stew. It turned out wonderfully and I promised my other friend, Adrienne, I would post the recipe.

For the most part, I followed this recipe from food.com but I made some changes. A few things, I couldn’t get my hands on (out of season, I think) and then I added carrots, because what’s the point of a stew without carrots?? Here’s what my recipe looked like:

Yummy Rabbit Stew

1 large rabbit (ours was 3.3 lbs. see after recipe for the tutorial I followed to cut it up.)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large yellow onions (1 chopped for stew, 1 Julienne cut for the caramelized onion garnish)

1 pack Harvest Farms thick sliced, peppered bacon, diced

10 sprigs parsleyIMG_2720

10 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp olive oil

1 c red wine (I used my favorite pinot noir, Hob Nob, because it was on a fabulous deal!)

5 c water

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp butter

12 yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks

5 medium carrots, sliced into chunks

salt

pepper

1) Divide rabbit. (I didn’t really know exactly what it meant by chop rabbit into 12 pieces, so I followed a tutorial.)

IMG_27222) Tie parsley, thyme and bay leaf together. We used thread, which wasn’t a good idea seeing as how we lost it 😉 oops! Next time I’ll use some hemp.

3) Sear rabbit in olive oil until lightly browned. Set aside. Toss in garlic, onion and herb bundle and saute it up for a bit. Throw in the bacon and fry that up. Drain off the fat and then toss the rabbit back in with the red wine. Let that deglaze down.

4) Pour the water in and let cook, covered, for ~1 hour. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender and it looks stew-ish (apporximately 1.5-2 hours. We were hanging out, drinking some beers and chatting at this point so I wasn’t really paying attention to the time. 2 hours is the longest it would have taken.)

IMG_27335) While stew is cooking, caramelize the onions. I only used 1 onion this time, but I will definitely do much more next time and then just stir them in right before serving. Sam did this part for me and I remember him saying that it took longer than he thought it would, so allow for ample time if you’re doing a big batch.

6) Take up a huge bowl and enjoy!!

IMG_2711How I dealt with my rabbit:

First off, ours came butchered so the head and feet were gone as were most of the insides except I think the kidneys.

I didn’t know how to cut it up but, a quick google search later, I came across Hank Shaw’s awesome step by step guide. Here’s me harvesting the “bunny bacon.” (After I seared the rabbit, I cut a couple bits of this off so we could try it by itself. It was awesome!!)

IMG_2715

I followed it exactly until the we got to the loin. I cut it in half and then took the spine out, creating four pieces. I used the spine, kidneys and all the other bits to make up a nice rabbit stock that I froze for later use. Sorry for the blurry picture, but the smaller plate is what I used for the stock.

IMG_2721

We will definitely be doing this again one day, so I’ll try to get some better shots. Enjoy!!

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