New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Surrey, 2015), by Summer Miller, pays homage to the outstanding chefs, farmers and artisans of Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. Some of their favorite recipes, organized by season and focused on regionally sourced meat, poultry, game and produce, appear throughout, along with profiles of these exceptional people. The following recipe is from “Fall.”
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Dutch Oven Rabbit Stew Recipe
This comforting and spicy stew is a great way to warm up on a cool fall day. It takes four hours from start to finish, but much of that is downtime while the flavors slowly meld in the oven. Almost any type of vegetable works with this dish. —Jason Simon Alba • Des Moines, IA
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• Hindquarters and forequarters of 1 rabbit
• 4–6 cups rabbit stock or chicken stock
• 12 juniper berries
• 12 black peppercorns
• 2 dried bay leaves
• 1 chile de arbol or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
• 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 12 cremini mushrooms, quartered
• 2 cups chopped kale
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
2. Place a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the vegetable oil.
3. Place the flour onto a shallow dish. Dredge the rabbit pieces in the flour, making sure they are evenly coated.
4. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the rabbit and begin to brown. You may have to do this in batches. Once browned, remove the rabbit and set aside. Slowly add the stock to the Dutch oven, scraping up the brown bits.
5. Place the juniper berries and peppercorns into a square of cheesecloth and tie the corners together. Add the cheesecloth bundle, bay leaves, and chile de arbol to the Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer. Add the onions, carrots, and browned rabbit. Cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil, cover the foil with the lid, and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours.
6. Remove the pot from oven and let the rabbit rest in the liquid for 1 hour. After it has rested, transfer the rabbit from the liquid to a plate and set it on the countertop to finish cooling.
7. Remove and discard the spice bundle and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée the liquid the rabbit cooked in until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, purée the liquid in batches in a blender, eventually returning it all to the Dutch oven. Pull the rabbit meat from the bones and add the meat to the liquid. Discard the bones.
8. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and lightly sauté until softened, but not shrunken. Add the kale and cook until it is just wilted. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
9. Transfer the vegetables to the stew. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary and serve.
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Reprinted with permission from New Prairie Kitchen by Summer Miller, Agate Surrey, 2015. Buy this book from our store: New Prairie Kitchen.