I was fortunate enough to be given a rabbit by our neighbors. They have the Omi Farm on Silverado Trail here in Napa. They raise seasonal vegetables, fruit and nuts, and raise sheep, rabbits, chickens and Australian Cattle Dogs. There is also a Cabernet vineyard in place that produces some great wine.
They don’t have a website yet, but you can find more information at:
Omi Farm on Silverado Trail.
I have been reading a lot lately about raising rabbits for meat. They have a really good feed to meat ratio (that means it costs less per pound to raise them to maturity), are easy to handle and produce some of the best compost available for your gardening needs.
I am not quite ready to start building my hutches yet- I have my hands quite full with the chickens, thank you. But I was thrilled to receive a nice sized, dressed out rabbit to cook up.
I looked at a lot of recipes online. Most of these were just too complicated. I decided to use the essence of the best sounding recipes and go my own way.
I read that rabbits are very lean and can be tough if not handled properly. I decided to poach the rabbit whole in water that I added bacon grease, onion and lots of garlic to. After a relatively short time my rabbit was fully cooked and I removed it from the broth to cool.
Next I chopped potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic. I added some fresh thyme and parsley and then sautéed the vegetables until the bottom of the pan was nice and brown.
At this point I wanted to add some moisture and flavor so I added in some sherry mixed with broth and Dijon mustard. Now I was ready to add the rabbit. While the vegetables cooked I had boned the rabbit and carefully trimmed the meat to get rid of any gristle.
Once that was done I cut the meat into small pieces and added them to the saute pan. I cooked this mixture for a few more minutes, adding more broth as needed to keep the pan just barely moist but with no extra broth to make my crust soggy.
Now I was ready to fill my deep dish pie pan and bake the pie! I had chosen an old recipe that I had on hand for Cheddar Cheese Savory Pie Dough- Electric Mixer Version. I was hopeful that the cheese in the crust would add some flavor without overpowering the subtle rabbit filling.
The results were amazing. All three of use went back for more- there was nothing left but crumbs and our full bellies. Success tasted so good!
(PS- If you need a written recipe for this pie, I would be glad to work on up for you to post on Recipezaar- let me know!)
- Rabbit hops back onto the menu thanks to celebrity chefs (dailymail.co.uk)