I made bunny stew last night. I have a new theory. You know how the offal movement has become the new big thing? I think that the wild game movement is on the horizon. And I am its general.
My father provided us with three wild rabbits that he shot last weekend. As previously discussed, my mother thinks all game (and, for that matter, most meat) is disgusting. As my father doesn't cook, that means that we get all of his bounty.
I'd had rabbit before, but I'd never cooked it. I read that you can treat it like chicken, and that gave me comfort. Without further ado, here's what we did:
Stew de la Bunnie
First, soak 3 cleaned and skinned rabbits in buttermilk for at least 1 day, preferably 2. After soaking rabbits, rinse well and put in a bowl. Add 1 bottle of wheat beer, 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, and enough salad oil to cover. Add 3 tablespoons onion powder, 1 tablespoon juniper berries, 1 tablespoon peppercorns, 3-5 bay leaves, 5 cloves, 1 teaspoon allspice, 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, and a pinch of salt. Marinate at least 1 day, but no more than 2.
Now, it's stew time. Butcher your rabbit into pieces. (This does not have to be pretty, because you're going to take the meat off the bone later). Heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a big, deep pot. Salt and pepper the pieces, and brown on both sides. Remove and reserve. Add 6-8 pieces of chopped bacon. Brown. Add 5 chopped onions, 1 bag of chopped baby carrots, 2 bunches of chopped celery, and 5 smashed cloves of garlic. Saute until all the veggies are soft. Add 1 cup of dried currants. Then add 1 cup of dry white vermouth and the juice of 1 lemon. Add in spices as the alcohol cooks off. Add 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, 1/2 tablespoon juniper berries, 2 bay leaves, 1 pinch of allspice, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 1 teaspoon mixed peppercorns, and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary. Once alcohol has cooked off, add rabbit back in and add 7 cans of chicken broth (or enough to cover). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook around 30 minutes and then check on your rabbit pieces. If not cooked through, cook longer.
Once rabbit pieces are cooked through but not tough, remove from the broth. Strain your broth and reserve. Let one person remove the rabbit meat from the bone and chop while the other person makes a roux of about 1/4 cup of flour & 1/4 cup of butter. Combine butter and flour over medium-low heat and cook around 4 minutes, stirring constantly. When roux looks blonde and thick (like me!), add about half of the stock to the roux, a little at a time, stirring constantly so that it stays smooth. Let it simmer for maybe 10 minutes.
To serve, add rabbit back to this gravy-type sauce, add parsley, and serve over white rice.
(If you are anti-eating-bunny, then you could do this exact recipe with chicken thighs. But just know that the game train is leaving the station with or without you.)