Yesterday I was forced to do something about the frozen rabbit in my freezer. I just bought 2 big packs of frozen chicken from ALDI and there was simply not enough space left in my fridge. Since the rabbit meat took up so much space, it had to make way for the chicken. So my rabbit chased away my chicken. And I reluctantly made a rabbit stew with my favourite Rodenbach beer and cherries (or krieken in Dutch).
Note the word "reluctantly". The last time I made a rabbit stew was in May. I bought a 2kg pack of frozen rabbit and used half of them (actually most of it were just bones) for my Rabbit Stew with Trappist Beer and Mushrooms, the remaining half was chucked away in the freezer until now.
The guilt of killing an innocent cute rabbit still haunts me. Yes, the sauce was delicious, but the truth was, it took so much effort to get the ingredients ready and then you still had to stew the rabbit for 2 hours, and all you got was a lot of bones and just a little meat. You start to wonder is it really worthwhile? I just want to know how to prepare a rabbit and how the meat tastes like. Now that I have achieved my mission by cooking the dish twice with 2 different recipes, it is time I leave the rabbits alone. Case closed. No more rabbits for another year or two, I hope. :p But I would definitely use this recipe for stewing chicken or turkey.
This is an adaptation of the recipe "Rabbit Stewed with Prunes in Beer" by Ruth Van Waerebeek.
INGREDIENTS (for 3 persons)
150g-200g canned cherries (krieken) + juice
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3-4 pieces of rabbit meat (about 1 kg)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 bottle Rodenbach beer
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leave
1 whole clove
1. Mix 2 tbsp of flour with salt and pepper. Dredge rabbit pieces with this mixture, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy dutch oven over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the rabbit pieces and saute until golden brown on both sides. Work in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Remove the rabbit pieces to a warmed platter and set aside.
3. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 min.
4. Put the rabbit pieces back into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp flour over the meat and onions. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 min. turning the meat from time to time. Add the Rodenbach beer gradually, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly each time before adding more. Add the vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and clove. Reduce the heat and simmer covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the kriek cherries together with the juice. Simmer covered for about 45 more minutes. The meat should be very tender, almost falling off the bones.
6. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.
Note: If you are a rabbit-lover (I mean if you hate killing them, not if you love eating them), you can still use this recipe for stewing chicken or turkey. For chicken, its not necessary to stew the meat for 2 hours, probably 1 hour in total will do.