Monday, December 10, 2012

Culinary adventures

As a hunter I've been faced with the dilemma of, "I've killed it.  What do I do now?"  Luckily for me, I'm an adventurous eater, and I love searching for new recipes.  However my dear wife, she's not as adventurous.  She's a good sport, don't get me wrong, but often she'd rather not think of what is now on her plate, was once walking around. 

So I was placed in a pleasant conundrum just the other day, when I realized I had accumulated 5 rabbit legs in the freezer.  Why 5 and not 6?  Fair question.  2 of the legs were from a rabbit I shot with my bow.  He had spent just too much time dilly dallying around my tree stand, and the archery deer season overlaps with small game season here in PA.  The next 3 were the result of my uncle having the great idea get some rabbits, but the unfortunate mistake of not separating out that buck he had.  The following spring another uncle was called in, to handle the population growth, and I was pleasantly surprised by a Ziploc bag with 3 rabbit legs. 

On another tremendous blog by Hank Shaw ( I rediscovered a classic German recipe:  Hasenpfeffer.  Literally, Peppered Hare.  The name is a result of the extended marinating time with many many spices.  After the marinade, the rabbit pieces are braised in the strained marinade for about 2 hours, making the meat wonderfully tender.  In Hank Shaw's blog post he paired his Hasenpfeffer with some delicious looking semolina dumplings.  Now I'm a big fan of dumplings, myself, but I decided to give my Grandfather's Spaetzle recipe a try.  Spaetzle are simply small dumplings made by passing a very loose dough through a colander over boiling water.  The resulting drops of dough are instantly turned into tasty bite sized noodles.  After a cool rinse I like to pan fry them with butter, salt, pepper, and garlic.

I decided to strip the braised meat from the bone, giving the entire dish more of a stew appearance.  And this worked, to help my wife to get past the idea that these were rabbit legs in the pot.  The meat was very tender, but didn't get that dried out texture overcooked meat can get.

After pan frying the Spaetzle, everything was served together.

The rabbit meat has now been marinated in red wine and red wine vinegar for 48 hours, then braised in that marinade for 2 hours.  The resulting gravy had a very tangy kick that wasn't unpleasant, however it wasn't quite what I was looking for in my dish. Should I ever have a couple rabbit legs laying around again, I might play with the recipe a bit to cut down on the tang in the finished product.  However the Spaetzle recipe was perfection.  My 2 year old probably ate over a cup and a half by the end of his meal.

Happy Hunting
Scott M

1 comment:

  1. Yep, cut back on the vinegar for less tang. It is supposed to be that way. Glad you made the recipe!