Monday, February 25, 2013


(Every time I say the name of this recipe, I say it like Yosemite Sam, I admit!)

So, I have never done just a straight-up recipe post before- but I am going to now. Why? As a budding "radical homemaker" and homesteader, growing and cooking high quality food and nourishing my family's minds, bodies, and spirits are one of the most important things I do for myself, my family, and the planet. As a family, we spend hours around the table- talking about our days, sharing, eating, and making offerings (our beloved dead altars are in the dining room!).

Many of you may be surprised to know that in a previous time, I apprenticed as a pastry chef. I also LOVE to cook, especially culinary experiments with ingredients that are home grown/raised or local. So when I got the opportunity for some local wild rabbit, I jumped at the chance to get some!

This hasenpfeffer which uses many home-sourced and local Ohio ingredients, in addition to the rabbit. Ethically sourced, pasture-raised pigs are plentiful here and I often have several types of pork in my freezer from local farms (many are Amish, some are just CSAs).

As many of you know, I grow my own mushrooms in the basement, year-round. And I grow herbs and vegetables of my own seasonally (and always have several herbs indoors year-round. What I do not have from my homestead, I got down at the food coop (a mere two blocks away!).

So here is a pictorial recipe:
Overnight, marinate a whole rabbit in 2 cups red wine, half cup red wine vinegar, 2.5 cups of onions, 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, and lots of thyme, salt, and pepper.
Be sure to cover it! I could smell it in my fridge even as it was covered.
It will make your butter smell like hasenpfeffer if you don't!
Render a bunch of bacon ends (these are so cheap from the Amish pork sellers here!)
to get the fat out and crisp up the bacon.
When it is crisp, remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate for later.
Use the fat to saute the veggies from the marinade mix.
(When you get to this stage, remove the rabbit onto a plate of seasoned flour for dredging and the veggies will be easy to fish out of the marinade with a slotted spoon.)
Figure out what, if any, mushrooms you wanna use. I like using medicinals to cook with- so I have maitake as well as beech here that I am going to add later.
Chop some UNSWEETENED (baking) chocolate. Kudos to you if you can find a source of fair trade chocolate.
Seasoned flour to dredge the rabbit in (makes for better browning). 
A shot of my much-depleted cook and bake book collection. I purged about 2/3 when I moved from California. Excessive? Maybe...
Ingredients, waiting patiently for me... that's why I love cooking- it's so meditative.
(at least when I am not interrupted by "mommy? mommy? mommy?")

Once the bacon has been removed, saute the mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot)
and seasonings/herbs out of the marinade.
Once soft, place it on the plate with the crisped bacon and use the remaining fat to brown the dredged rabbit.
Save that marinade! It becomes the main cooking liquid!

Gorgeous purple rabbit (from the red wine marinade) ready to be dredged.

Veggies and bacon and herbs, all browned and yummy, waiting to go back into the pot.

Once the rabbit browns, add all remaining ingredients into the pot
(bacon, saut├ęd veggies, mushrooms, chocolate, marinade).
Cook til rabbit is cooked through and the house smells awesome.

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