One of the things different about food shopping in other countries is that meat doesnt generally come cut up and packaged to look like something different from its original self. Here is one half of a rabbit.
I have not cooked domesticated rabbit before, but grew up eating lots of wild rabbit. The wild ones can be fierce little creatures and their flesh can be tough. My Mom used to par-boil them before frying and pan searing in butter and bread crumbs; simple, very moist and delicious! And even though I figured farm raised rabbits were not as tough, I still decided to braise, rather than pan fry.
I cut this rabbit down (thank goodness for the beautiful clever in my rental pantry-VERY impressed!) And then seasoned generously with salt / paper and browned in butter and locally produced olive oil.
Here's the recipe, but please take lots of liberties as I used what I had on hand and I believe one of the most fun parts about cooking is being creative with the ingredients you have available. I think green peas and wild mushrooms would be a tasty addition.
Rabbitt's BRAISED RABBIT RAGOUT aka
Rabbitt's BRASATO CONIGLIO RAGU
2-3 pounds rabbit, on the bone
1 Tbsp. Butter, plus more for sautéing veg
4 Tbsp. Olive oil for browning rabbit, plus more for veg
1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped chunky
6 tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks fennel, not cut up
1/2 cup roasted red pepper
Salt / Pepper
1 cup red wine
2+ cups water (I think chicken stock would be even better.)
1 Tbsp. each: thyme, oregano, rosemary (I would prefer fresh herbs, but did not have them.) These were in my Italian pantry.
Cut rabbit into 4 inch pieces. Liberally salt and pepper. Place butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Cast iron would work well. Heat til nearly smoking. Brown rabbit on all sides and set aside. I used the head because it came with the rabbit, but if your rabbit comes minus the head I do not think that will pose a problem.
Broil Red Pepper:
You can either broil the pepper under the broiler making sure all sides get evenly blackened, or broil right on top of your gas range. I'm not getting a very even broil, but kept moving the pepper on the burner until it eventually got scorched. With tongs, place the pepper in a paper bag and let cool. When it's cool enough to handle, rub off the charred skin, discard seeds and pith. Dice 1/2 cup and set aside. You will have left over pepper.
|My adorable kitchen in Tuscany!|
|The view from my kitchen window! Yes, right next door is a fabulous restaurant. Making friends with the chef and will get a cooking lesson from her next week!|
To remove tomato skins:
Bring enough salted water to boil and drop in tomatoes. Boil vigorously until the skins pop. Remove carefully with tongs. Cool. Rub off skins. Remove the hard stem area. Make sure you catch all their juices. Cut tomatoes into chunks and add to the ragout sauce. Keep an eye on the ragout so it does not boil off. Add water (stock) as needed. Now add the browned rabbit. Cover. Cook on low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the meat flakes off the bones. Check every half hour to make sure you have enough liquid. Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, bring up to temperature on very low heat. Remove from heat and take all the meat off the bone. This is a lot of work and you may need a glass of wine. This is what I had--Il Pozzo, a beautiful, rich sangiovese from the D'Orcia region here in Tuscany. This is also what the rabbit had. Lucky rabbit!
So far, most of the wines I've tasted are very local, all related to the Val D'Orcia region. And so far, all fabulous!
|Here's the meat sauce simmering.|
ALL FOR TODAY FROM TUSCANY ...
THIS HAPPENS TO BE MY BIRTHDAY AND AM PLEASED TO SAY IT'S BEEN ONE OF MY BEST!
DREAMED FOR MANY YEARS OF BEING IN TUSCANY ON MY BIRTHDAY AND FINALLY HERE I AM!
KEEP COOKING, DREAMING, AND
BELIEVING IN YOURSELF!
HERE ARE A COUPLE MORE SHOTS FROM
PLEASE TUNE IN AGAIN SOON FOR ANOTHER EPISODE OF CINDY COOKING IN TUSCANY!
Ficco di maile alle erbe aromatiche
Bow pork with herbs
Oggi si Mangia
La vita e troppo breve per
mangiare male e bere peggio
Life is too short to eat badly and drink worse.Baled hay as far as your eyes can see.