Rabbit and gingerbread is the combination I have ever wanted to try. I've known it as a traditional recipe cooked slowly in a rich sweet sauce full of plums, candied fruits and almonds. Perhaps in that matter, you can consider it even a Christmas treat as it is full of the festive flavour. However, to be honest, I am not a big fan of sweet meals, therefore, I need something with an extra taste in it. Perhaps more fresh veggies and the spiciness within. Slow-cooked gingerbread rabbit inspired by a great Czech Chef Roman Paulus, turns out to be a real good beginning of the new Fall Season. The key is the time. All the preparation is not too tricky, just some chopping and cleaning involved. The secret is a slow cooking, which equals to comfort food. The real flavour needs time as it is with any other stew.
Humble Satisfying Gingerbread Rabbit
If I would have the possibility to shop rabbit meat more often, I would try many interesting recipes. On the other hand, even though the rabbit meat is extremely popular in the Czech cuisine, a good quality rabbit meat is hard to find. Therefore, I always think twice how to process it. This recipe belongs to humble, satisfying and fulfilling stews and still relatively easy to make.
Right after cooking, this meal is more soup texture like, therefore, I served it with some fresh bread. The day after, the flavour becomes even stronger and more thick stew texture like. Then, I served this dish with my Parmesan baked potatoes. Trust me, even my little one couldn't have enough of it. It is that delicious.
Slow-cooked gingerbread rabbit is suitable for kids from the age of 3 as it consists of a large collection of flavours. Note that rabbit meat is a great source of protein, high source of iron and low in fat. The meat itself is comparable to poultry, but more delicate. Try for yourself and enjoy!
Total Time: 30 minutes + 2 hours slow-cooked broth + 1 hour 30 cooking of the stew
The Rabbit Stock:
Bones and leftovers of the rabbit meat
1-2 cups of cold water
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 whole onion with its skin for the colour
1 small shallot, peeled
4 black peppers
The Rabbit Stew:
600g of rabbit parts, deboned, cleaned in chunks
1 tablespoon of plain flour
A splash of olive oil
Sea salt, ground black pepper
A piece of celeriac, peeled, washed and diced
2 carrots, peeled, washed and diced
1 white carrot, peeled, washed and diced
1 cup of full-flavoured red wine
Few stalks of celery, cleaned, washed and finely chopped
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 ladrons of English bacon, sliced
1 heaped teaspoon of tomato purée
2 heaped tablespoons of fine plum jam
Bouquet garni: bunch of rosemary, thyme and 1 bay leaf
200ml of good rabbit stock
1 chocolate gingerbread snack bar
A knob of butter and handful of fresh parsley to finish
Serve with Spicy Parmesan Baked Potatoes as per in my One Easy Barbecue Menu Recipe
8 small potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
A splash of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, smoked paprika powder, satureja and Provencal herbs
A pinch of ground black pepper and chili
A handful of Parmesan, grated
The Rabbit Stock
Debone the meat and place all the bones with leftovers into a medium deep pan. Cover with cold water and season well with sea salt.
Add 1 whole onion with the skin and 1 small peeled shallot with cloves sticked in. Then, finish with 4 allspice and 4 whole black pepper.
Bring it to boil on high heat.
Next, lower the temperature to low and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for about 2 hours to create a strong stock for basting of the stew.
My Culinary tip is to sieve the meat with all the spice, so you get a clear liquid. What you do not use, save for later. Add few winter veggies (carrots, celeriac, peas, potatoes), cook until soft for about 15 minutes and enjoy the soup with meat leftovers.
The Rabbit Stew
Meanwhile, the stock is cooking, prepare all the ingredients. Wash, peel and chop.
First, place the rabbit meat into a large and non sticking deep casserole pan on high heat. Sprinkle with some flour and mix. Add splash of olive oil and roast until golden brown for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Take the meat out onto a serving plate and continue with the stew.
Add olive oil if needed and celeriac with carrots. Sauté for about 2 minutes and baste with a bit of red wine, so it doesn't burn. Mix with all the delicious rabbit bits within.
Next, stir in the celery, shallot and bacon. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes and baste with a bit of wine once again.
Then, rabbit meat back in.
Afterwards, add tomato purée and plum jam. Give a good stir and pour all the rest of the wine. Reduce.
Bouquet garni in and cover with the stock, so the meat is staring at you nicely. Reduce.
In the end, sprinkle with 1 chocolate gingerbread. Let it melt on top of it.
Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for at least 1,5 hour. Mix and taste occasionally.
Once the stew is done, finish with a knob of butter. Mix and taste. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve warm.
Parmesan Baked Potatoes
Before the stew is ready, preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Throw all the potato wedges into a baking tray 25x35cm. Sprinkle with a good splash of olive oil.
Add all the spices and herbs: sea salt, paprika powder, satureja, Provencal herbs, ground black pepper and chili. Mix with hands and cover with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until baked through. Do a final plating and enjoy the Gingerbread Rabbit with a glass of full-flavoured red wine.
Makes 5 serves.