"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Land Provides, part 1

Hi all,
Well, I know the Day boys grew up out in the country, and Dad tells me that you guys went shooting sometimes, but not really hunting for food. Darn. I was hoping he could tell me the best way to treat a wild rabbit.
Ivory, my dog (see photo gallery) is part whippet, and she is quick, but not, until yesterday, quick enough to catch one of the abundant wild rabbits on the property. Yesterday evening I was working in the garden when Ivory comes prancing by with a large brown rabbit dangling loosely from her mouth. I took it from her, praising her lavishly, inspected it, and found that it was quite surely dead, but also warm as life, and not a mark on it. Must have died of fright, or a broken neck. I brought it in to show to Homero, and told him that if he wanted to clean it, I'd cook it. He hesitated and asked, didn't I think Ivory deserved it for herself? After all, it was her first rabbit. Okay, I said, if you don't want to do it...but didn't you say you were going to butcher the next pig? And I haven't even seen you kill a chicken yet. So he took a quick look at YouTube and then skinned and gutted it quite neatly. Currently I have it marinating in red wine, olive oil, and garlic in the fridge. It's not much more than mouthful for each of us, but I figure it'll stretch out in a stew. Anyone got a recipe?

What I did with the rabbit: Rabbit Cacciatore
If your dog brings you a nice fresh rabbit, clean it, skin it, and joint it, then:
marinate overnight in 1/4 cup olive oil, 3/4 cup dry red wine, two cloves garlic, crushed, a couple of peppercorns, a couple of cloves, a couple of allspice berries.
The next day, pat pieces dry and saute in small amount olive oil, along with:
one large thinly sliced yellow onion, a three inch branch of rosemary, two minced cloves garlic, a teaspoon of fennel seeds, lightly crushed. 
Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a small pot and bring to a simmer.
When onions are wilted and meat is browned, stir in a tablespoon tomato paste, and add the simmering marinade, a handful of chopped kalamata or other black olives, a couple of teaspoons of capers, and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Keep at a fast simmer for a good hour. Add water when needed.
Separately, boil some pasta. I used penne, but bowtie or large elbow macaroni would be fine. Or tortellini. 
When meat is tender and beginning to shred from bone, serve over pasta. Shower generously with finely minced parsley.
It was really good. The dog got the bones.