Friday, 27 March 2009

Rabbit stew

When I was in high school, I loved reading romance novels, particularly those set in medieval times. Most of those medieval romance novels would feature hunts and rabbits somewhere in the story. Thanks to those stories, I have always been curious about rabbit meat and how it tastes.

As of late, I have been reading many stories also set in medieval times, similarly featuring hunts and rabbit as food. After reading so many stories, I was hit with a sudden, intense craving for rabbit flesh.

Two days ago, I walked out to Waitrose for my weekly shopping. I was wandering through the meat section when I found that they had diced rabbit meat! Of course, I bought it.

Today, I had the opportunity to cook the rabbit meat. I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, but I figured that since it was diced meat, not a jointed or whole rabbit, I may as well make a stew. So, I cooked a nice rabbit stew, using my favourite lamb stew recipe, but replacing the lamb for rabbit.

1) Coat rabbit in flour. Heat oil in a pot, and fry the rabbit till browned. Take rabbit out of pot, and set aside.
2) In the same pot, add a little more oil, then add roughly chopped onion. Fry till soft. I like a little hint of spiciness in my food, so I added three chopped chillies. Return rabbit to pot, along with carrots and potatoes (prepared the way you like it). Stir-fry it a little to coat everything in a bit of oil.
3) Add hot water till just covering everything. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 30mins. Stir at least once every 10 minutes, because the water will evaporate fast! Add more water, if need be. Simmer till the sauce consistency is to your liking. I highly doubt you'd need to add any flour to thicken it, but if you like it really thick, then go ahead, by all means!
4) Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

It turned out quite nice, I think. Of course, this is stew, so nothing much can ever go wrong with it! :D But surprisingly, rabbit flesh does taste quite good!

I've always heard that rabbit flesh is very similar to chicken in terms of taste and texture. You can throw that right out of the window. The flavour does have a slight hint of a chicken taste, but actually has a more game-y flavour. If I recall correctly, it tastes more like anteloupe than chicken. The texture, I feel, is a bit like a cross between duck breast and stewing beef (you know... beef that's too tough for anything but slow cooking), but slightly less tough. I will admit that the smell is a little odd, but you get used to it after a while. After frying the meat, it smells absolutely heavenly!

I know that some people would be horrified at the thought of eating bunnies, but honestly! Where's your sense of gastronomic adventure?? Besides, did you know that rabbit is higher in protein and lower in fat than other meats and poultry? Or that the cholesterol values are as low as or lower than other red meats and poultry? (I got that info from this site!) Delicious and healthy!

Precious few restaurants that I've been to serve rabbit, if any at all, but I think that if I ever have the chance to eat rabbit that has been professionally prepared, I will take it! After all, if it already tastes nice when I am the one cooking it, how delicious would it be if professionals cook it? Yum!

By the way, just a random note, but the pancakes I made yesterday? I had some leftovers that I kept in the fridge. For a quick brunch, I had them spread with butter and with smoked salmon. It was so delicious! The sweetness of the pancakes complemented the woody flavour of the smoked salmon. I only wish I had cream cheese to go with it, but I don't really eat cream cheese often enough to justify keeping a tub in my fridge all the time.

I think the next time I have leftover pancakes, I might try having it with mushroom pate and cold slices of roast beef or lamb! Yum~


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Petrina said...

Umm well I remember Porpor telling me that she used to cook rabbit meat all the time because they reared the rabbits at home and there was always a constant supply. Maybe Ma or one of the Aunties might remember a recipe or two?

Oh remember the really yummy mushroom powder we got from Japan that we can use in chawan mushi? Our new neighbour sells it! She owns Gaban Spice which does only wholesale though but we'll split the pack with the other neighbours!

Oh for lunch, I'm now having vegetarian kuey tiao and Chinese style vegetarian curry. And a bottle of leong cha... total cost RM5.

Priscilla said...

Tessa, thank you for visiting! =^_^=

Ling, really?? o_O I didn't know!! Yeah, the next time I call Ma, I'll ask her :D Yay for our new neighbour! Is her house finally completed then? Has she finally moved in? Is she loud? Would you believe I've only had that mushroom powder once? >.o I regret not having it more often now...

Walter said...

Ah, you make me hungry! Stewed rabbit is a classic Flemish dish.
Of course it doesn't taste like chicken and yes it's high protein, low fat ( if you don't add diced bacon as in some recipes ).
In fact , if you look at the nutritional value stewed rabbit rates slightly better than broiled chicken.
You can find those values here
if you're interested.
This database contains many foods,
surprisingly I can't find kangaroo in it , but they have values for squirrel and walrus ;)
Go figure.

Priscilla said...

Oh wow, thanks for the link!! It's really useful :D

Walrus lol :P I'm curious about how that tastes like!