Something a bit more traditional this time
Well traditional... making stews with all sorts of beer is pretty traditional here anyways. This particular recipe is a bit less traditional but ever since I tried it, it became my favourite rabbit dish (and I realy love rabbit!). Hope you'll enjoy it too.
Rabbit in Cherry beer stew
* 1 cleaned and cut 3lbs domesticated rabbit (or rabbit legs or rabbit stew meat, preferably with head and liver).
* 2 oignons, chopped
* 2 carrots (cut lengthwise)
* 2 stalks of celery (cut lengthwise)
* 1 cup of all purpose flour
* about 1 stick of lard
* 4 cups of cherry beer ("Kriek": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriek
) (an american friend who tried this recipe but couldn't find kriek beer, used 3 1/2 cups of ale and 1/2 cup of concentrated cherry syrup and claimed it tasted ok) For those who want to try the real stuff: Belle-Vue and Mort Subite are the most commercially available brands.
* 1 1/2 - 2 cups broth (I usually use wild game broth, beef broth works ok too)
* 1/4 cup gin (I usually take Bombay Sapphire because it also tastes great in a dry martini consumed while cooking ;) )
* 1 bouquet garni (thyme, pasley stalks, bay leaves tied together)
* 1/8 cup raspberry vinegar (optional or use balsamic vinegar)
* 1 tbspoon red current jam (optional or use concentrated red currant syrup)
* 1 lbs of sour cherries (fresh or drained jars on syrup and keep the syrup for desert)
* 1 stalk of cinamon
* a few tbspoons of sugar to taste
A/ Broth: Reduce the broth to about 1 cup (along with the head of the rabbit if you have it). Keep aside. If you use comercially available stock cubes or home made stock: just make 1 cup of the stuff to just under the normal strength.
B/ Rabbit: Roll the rabbit cuts in flour. Melt the lard in a casserole. Brown the meat well on all sides together with the oignons. Add the carrots and celery. Dust with 2-3 tbspoons of flour and add 1/2 the beer (2cups), the broth and the bouquet garni (aswell as the head and liver of the rabbit). Scrape the bottom of the casserole well and season to taste with p&s. Bring it to a light simmer and leave it simmering gently for somewhere between 1 1/2 - 2 hrs.
C/ Cherries: When using fresh cherries: deseed the cherries. Bring the remaining beer (2cups) to a boil along with the cinamon, 1 tbspoon of sugar, vinegar and jam. Allow the liquid to reduce by about 1/4. Add the cherries and simmer under a lid untill the cherries are done (10 mins or so). Remove the cinamon stick and add sugar to taste.
If you're using jarred cherries: add 2 tbspoons of the cerry syrup to the liquid and reduce the liquid by 1/4. Take away from the fire and add the drained cherries. Add sugar to taste. Under a lid, allow the cherries to soak in the liquid untill the rabbit is ready.
D/ Completing: When the rabbit is done, remove the head of the rabbit, the liver, carrots, celery and bouquet garni. Add the cherries with their liquid. Adjust seasoning with pepper, salt and sugar to taste. You can also thicken the sauce a bit more with some instant sauce binder if/when desired.
Serve with some potato's or bread and have a nice beer with it (preferably kriek or geuze beer).
PS: I never tried this with wild rabbit, but I've been told it works too.