Saturday, January 5, 2013

Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

Sunday, 30th December 2012
Rabbit stew and dumplings, with boiled potatoes and "Spitzkohl".
My local supermarket is large but has surprisingly little variety of fresh meat and vegetable. However, whole rabbit does appear on the shelves at festivals like Easter and Christmas, so I like to take advantage.
I jointed the rabbit, coated it with seasoned flour and browned the pieces in dripping. Then browned onions and root vegetables in the same pan, and transfered everything to the slow cooker with a large amount of chopped herbs, a few squashed juniper berries and the rabbit heart, liver and kidneys in a muslin bag. I covered the meat with a mix of white wine and stock and let it cook on medium for about 7 or 8 hours.
For the cabbage (there seems to be no special English name for Spitzkohl), I friend some diced bacon and then sautéed the chopped cabbage in the fat for 10 minutes or so, then added a splash of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar and mixed in a good knob of butter at the last minute. Topped with diced tomato.
I still cannot get dumplings right. These were OK, but too greasy and didn't rise enough.
The rabbit had a lovely flavour but was a bit overcooked. Should have used the low setting on the slow cooker for that length of time. The cabbage was excellent.
For future stews I think I would try red wine and also add fried bacon and chopped rabbit's innards at the beginning (as in this Alpine Rabbit Stew recipe).

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