Yesterday was one of those times. One of those times when you start looking through the pantry, the fridge, both freezers and find nothing but … fish. Lots of fish. There was a pound of ground chuck back there but I was feeling a little more creative than that. But there’s way too much fish.
Mary doesn’t like fish.
Ok, so that’s somewhat of a misnomer. She’s getting used to liking some seafood. Chilled steamed shrimp with horseradish dipping sauce is good and so is some salmon. I did a Lake Superior whitefish the other day that she enjoyed. So she’s getting there with the right cooking.
There’s lots of fish because I like fish. A whole Hell of a lot. So we buy fish.
Oooo … check that out. There’s a rabbit in there, too. Not just any rabbit either. This is domestic rabbit from Lee Williams House of Meats in Point Place, Ohio. Hmmm …
Mary’s liked rabbit ever since I made Rabbit Gumbo courtesy the fine folks at Pel-Freez. So, something with rabbit …
There’s no fresh vegetables in the house (shopping is today). I’m thinking some kind of, maybe, like a rabbit noodle soup? That’d be kinda cool. The problem is, when you boil rabbit the “broth” is really kind of a funky thing that you don’t want to eat. I’d have to have, say, a gallon of chicken broth. Ain’t got it. But I have these three cans of veggies. I have a couple 28 oz cans of tomatoes (one tomato sauce and one seasoned diced tomatoes), and a 14-1/2 ounce can of tomatoes with some chili seasoning in it. Maybe some kind of tomatoey rabbit stew? Black beans and corn … that works with a sorta chili thing. I could add some wine to kick it up, maybe some onion, a red onion. Oh, and there’s a little bit of good beef stock in the pantry. That’d kick up the richness of the flavor just a little bit too.
So, that’s what I did. I boiled the rabbit to get the whole thing started, then just dumped that nasty rabbit water. Really, don’t use that stuff. But make sure the rabbit is fork-tender without going into water overbloat. It should come off the bone in decent, tender chunks.
I washed the pot then dumped all three cans of tomatoes into it so they’d heat up. Deboning rabbit takes a little time because it’s a touch stringy but there’s lots of good stuff in there. I just deboned it right over the pot of tomatoes, the meat going right in. The canned veggies got drained, and the black beans rinsed under cold water, and they all went right into the pot. After adding about a cup of red wine and the beef broth I still had to add some salt and pepper to kick up the flavors to where I like them. The red onion got chopped, and the whole thing left to simmer.
Yeah, real easy. The hardest part was deboning the rabbit.
Good? Well, seeing as Mary had two bowls and Aaron had three, I’ll say it kinda works. Telling Chef Tad about it later he’s like, “Alright, alright, I’m getting hungry now …”
Serves 6 – 8
1 whole rabbit, cut up
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes with chili seasoning
1 15 oz can sweet peas
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15-1/2 ounce can whole kernel yellow and white corn
1 cup dry red wine
8 ounces beef stock
1 medium red onion
Fresh ground pepper
Place the rabbit pieces in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the rabbit plus about another inch. Add a couple tablespoons salt. Boil the rabbit until it’s fork-tender, adding more water if necessary. When the rabbit is done, remove it from the pot to cool.
While the rabbit is cooling, dump the rabbit water and wash the pot. Place the pot back on the stove, add all three cans of tomatoes, the red wine and beef stock, and set the burner for medium heat. When the rabbit is cool enough to touch, debone it, adding the meat to the tomatoes.
Drain all three cans of vegetables, rinsing the black beans under cold water, and stir the veggies into the tomato-rabbit mixture. Chop the onion and add it as well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Re-season with salt and pepper before serving with a side of buttermilk biscuits.