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Farm to Table: Rabbit Stew

February 9, 2012

A few weeks ago I had to opportunity to go rabbit hunting in southern Illinois. My mom’s cousin, Ed, has raised rabbit-sniffn’ beagle dogs since he was 11 years old. On this particular Sunday in January, Ed brought only 5 of his beagles to help us with the hunt, and these dogs were on a hot trail all afternoon. When the dogs sniffed out a rabbit scent, they’d all howl and the rabbit would take off – one even passed my friend Matt while he was on the phone. However, we successful returned from our hunt with 4 rabbits!

Enjoy the recipe!

Prep time: 45 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 rabbit, cleaned and cut into pieces  How to Cut Up a Rabbit
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine (your choice)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon currant  or grape jelly
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Cut the rabbit into serving pieces and salt well, set aside.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon and set aside on paper towels.
  3. Sprinkle rabbit with 1/3 cup flour, shaking off excess. Brown rabbit in remaining bacon fat. Remove from skillet, along with all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
  4. Saute shallots and garlic in skillet for about 3 minutes, until mostly tender. Then add mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 mins.
  5. Add wine, 1/3 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth. Heat to boiling, then stir in mushrooms, jelly, pepper, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Return rabbit and bacon to skillet, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until rabbit is tender and falling off the bone.
  6. Remove bay leaf and discard. Pull bones out of rabbit.
  7. Pour stew over noodles and serve.
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2012 9:46 am

    You are a braver soul than I to go rabbit hunting. I have heard rave reviews about the meat though! I’ll need to try it.

    • Laura MacDougall permalink*
      February 9, 2012 8:04 pm

      Thanks, Stacy! The meat is great–very tender, lean, and flavorful. Let me know when you try it.

  2. February 9, 2012 4:38 pm

    Does it matter if the rabbit died of natural causes or was murdered?

    • Laura MacDougall permalink*
      February 9, 2012 8:03 pm

      Good question! It’s better if you know how the rabbit died, so in most cases, I’d steer clear of any animal you didn’t hunt, order at a restaurant, or purchase already processed in a store. Definitely stay away from using anything you find already dead.

  3. Red permalink
    February 10, 2012 12:10 pm

    Since I have no uncle Ed, and I want to try this recipe (hopefully this season), do you know of any places in town (St. Louis) where one can get rabbit meat? The only places that I know with rabbit, may not be inclined to sell the fuzzy little guy to me if they know the destiny I have in mind for him.

  4. Laura MacDougall permalink*
    February 12, 2012 11:48 am

    I know they sell rabbit at the Soulard Farmer’s Market. You may also find rabbit at the Asian grocery stores off Olive or at Jay’s off South Grand.

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