Mom told me a story about coming home from school one day and could not find her rabbit. Grandma had taken it but brushed Mom off. A few days later, the rabbit was dinner. Grandma didn’t reveal the rabbit story to Mom until a lifetime later. So with the story came my question: how did Grandma make her rabbit? A simple stew with onion and carrots (how fitting) from the garden. They always had a huge garden, as most rural folks did. The only thing missing was an occasional rabbit or chicken. Grandma baked her bread to fill in the gaps.
I took to my rabbit and giblets in the usual way I would prepare a beef stew. Dredge. Brown. Simmer.
Grandma’s Rabbit Stew
- rabbit giblets, roughly cubed
- 1 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound rabbit, cubed or otherwise small portions
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into thick rounds
- 1 box vegetable stock or broth
- 1 – 2 cups water
- olive or vegetable oil as needed
- 2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of cool water
First I browned and rendered the giblets to get some tasty brown bits in the bottom of the soup pot. Remove the cooked giblets (they were reserved for Pepper as a treats).
Combine the flour, allspice, salt and black pepper on a plate and lightly coat each piece of rabbit. Brown the dredged meat in small batches in the fat left in the soup pot, add more oil if needed.
Once all the meat is browned, add more oil if needed and then the onion. You want the onions to brown and sweat to release their flavour to the stew.
When the onions are soft and brown, add the carrots, the meat, the vegetable stock and enough water to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil and add the cornstarch/water slurry. Stir while it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Chef Note: I realized too late that I screwed up the base of the stew! I should have made a roux with the onions when they were nearly ready to go. A flour and butter roux is simply equal amounts of flour and butter that is cooked first before adding liquids. Bad midnitechef, bad! The recipe I wrote above is how I made it, in the thick of things, kids running around, phone ringing, dog barking. I was highly distracted!