What to do? Sunday Supper – 2

Starting to think about Sunday dinner.Julia Child

The last time I consulted you I made Boeuf à la bourguignonne.

I am inclined toward rabbit this time….

I usually make Italian coniglio in umido (and here).  This involves lots of olives and white wine and herbs.

But since I recently received from a kind reader, WH, the volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I thought I might give her Lapin au Saupiquet a chance to prove its worth.  Oddly, it is the sole rabbit entry in the books.

This would be – if I choose it – Rabbit Marinated in Vinegar and Herbs, and stewed in Red Wine. 

This would take at least 24 hours to prepare, so I had better get things together by Friday evening.

So, what will it be?

{democracy:59}

The rabbit must die.

[flv]10_05_20_Kill_The_Wabbit.flv[/flv]

UPDATE 22 May 1700 GMT:

Okay!  The poll is closed. 

I have opted for Lapin au Saupiquet and have already started the marinade!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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78 Responses to What to do? Sunday Supper – 2

  1. Dr. Eric says:

    Always go for something new.

  2. Wabbit! Wabbit! Wabbit!

  3. Magpie says:

    I voted for option 3 without studying the options properly. I think you should eat the rabbit Father.

  4. arotron theou says:

    When I was a student in France, I often ate rabbit this way: divide the rabbit in six or eight pieces. Brown the pieces in a deep skillet in a little oil, and set them aside. Cook minced onion and garlic in the same pan. Add tomato paste and a bottle of red wine, suitable spices to taste, and return the rabbit to the sauce to stew until falling off the bone. Serve over toasted bread, or over rice, or over pasta. In a hurry, this can cook in 30-45 minutes. Given 2-3 hours over low heat, it’s truly delicious.

  5. lucy says:

    Don’t eat the cute little wabbit !! My grandma used to make rabbit stew and I’ve gotta just say that as long as cows, pigs, chickens, and fish are about the earth, I choose them over a sweet, soft little rabbit that should live its lovely life in the lush green meadows undisturbed by us humans who have plenty to eat without munching on them. And no, I’m not a whacky enviro person. : )

  6. Jaybirdnbham says:

    I voted for the “coniglio in umido” because olives and white wine just sounds like it would taste better than vinegar and red wine.
    There’s also my somewhat lazy philosophy of sticking with what I already know how to do, especially when I know it’s good and the other option is an unknown outcome (i.e.it might be a lot of work and then taste terrible).

  7. ejcmartin says:

    They sell rabbit at the little market near our home. My eight year-old son always asks me to buy some, but I always tell him that I don’t know how to cook it. Perhaps this is a recipe I should try, non?

  8. My cats would certainly approve of rabbit.

  9. Widukind says:

    If there are leftovers, will you have “Bunny and Noodles” on Monday?

  10. Jack Hughes says:

    hmmm……watbit pie

  11. Ah, Father Z!

    What you need is “Papa Z’s World Famous Lasagna” Recipe!

    I’ve served it to many hundreds of people in many states, including the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York! (On numerous occasions! He loves it!)

    You can’t do better!

    Blessings,

    David Zampino

    aka “Papa Z”

  12. mike cliffson says:

    Father:
    can’t vote, it may depend on the bun.
    M’mother used to keep rabbits in open runs, fed with anything available and otherwise rabbit pellets. These had more flavour and firmer flesh then the softer, younger, and waterier battery cage rabbits often available, but were tenderer than the very much more gamey-tasting wild rabbits that had been hunted, whose meat needed more cooking and one always found the shot when chewing a bit.
    The latter sound a bit like candidates for marinating, and hours simmer- stewing with a good red wine, the battery rabbits probably NEED the herbs of the italian method.
    Either way I’m salivating at the mere thought.
    Should priestly charisma (extends to food? why not) or the minor aspect of the community of saints represented by your blog-followers fail, use your cook’s instinct. Or viceversa next weekend.

    I can never manage your whole set of posts, let alone the threads – do you ever sleep?- so apologies if someone has already suggested this idoneous clerical diet to you:

    There once was a zealous young priest
    who lived upon nothing but yeast
    He said “Since it’s plain
    We must all rise again
    I mean to get started, at least.”

    Bon Appetit!

  13. mike cliffson says:

    I have to add – with her own and other rabbits, see above – m’mother got a bee in her bonnet trying out recipes from god knows where that involved cocao powder + rabbit. “different” and “interesting” were the family’s kindest comments. But the local hunted rabbits were meadow and minor woodland – a hill or mountain rabbit eating thyme and mountain aromatic herbs all it’s life might have a flavour set-off that could contrast sucessfully.

  14. Be werwy qwiet, I’m hunting wabbit…..

    How about another option, Father? Moroccan Rabbit:

    * 2 lb. rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
    * 1 onion, finely sliced
    * 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    * ¼ tsp. ground ginger
    * ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
    * 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
    * 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    * 3 oz. pitted prunes
    * 1 Tbsp. honey
    * 2 oz. blanched almonds, oven-roasted

    Prep:

    In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the rabbit pieces and the remaining ingredients, but not the prunes, honey and almonds. Pour in 2 cups of water.
    Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 45 to 60 minutes.
    Add the prunes and honey and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
    Adjust the seasoning for the sauce.
    Place the rabbit tagine on a serving platter. Garnish with the almonds.
    Serve the tagine with fresh crusty bread and a garden salad.
    If the sauce seems too liquid, remove the food and reduce the sauce to the desired consistency.
    Optional just before serving add a dash of lemon juice and chopped fresh herbs.

    Otherwise, I’d say go for Julia!

  15. doanli says:

    Sorry Father, only if I’m starving. (As in 3rd World sense of starving.)

  16. Stirling says:

    Rabbit (the other other white meat) sounds good but right now it is squirrel season. Somehow wild rabbit is more satisfying. I don’t know any good squirrel recipes really but I’m going to try anyway.

  17. wanda says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying, but, I vote for the new recipe. If you are going to cook a cute, wittle bunny wabbit, then you have to work weally, weally haaaaard.

  18. yatzer says:

    I can’t even think about it.

  19. JohnE says:

    Lahpin o’ soupykwet?
    Cone igly-oh in omeedhoh?

    Whatever happened to those doughnut cheeseburgers?

  20. Geoffrey says:

    I voted for the Julia Child recipe. I find her recipes very intimidating and would like to see someone else try it!

    Fr. Z, how will you acquire the rabbit in question?

    Long before my time, my father’s family raised rabbits for eating. It was considered cheep Portuguese food. I’ve only had rabbit (coelho, in Portuguese) once in my life, prepared in a Portuguese marinade (red wine, spices). It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t find it very “meaty”.

    I am looking forward to seeing how this develops!

  21. Liz F says:

    What,no ramen? You could break some up and put it in the salad dry. :o)

  22. Ramen is for days other than Sunday.

  23. And if you all want to know why rabbit beat out beef for Sunday Supper 2…

    … click here.

    In the running for the funniest cartoon ever made.

  24. JamesA says:

    Nice to know you are a Bugs Bunny fan also, Pater. What eclectic taste !

    Enjoy your wabbit.

  25. Drusilla says:

    Wabbits are God’s wild, convenient Whopper with fur & more easily processed (BANG! Skin & cook). Yum Yum!

    PS – I have wanted to download “Oh Bwunhiwda you’we so wuvwy” as my ring tone for months now. I need to buy a cable first.

  26. wanda says:

    Loved the cartoon. Looney Tunes are the best, would that they were still around for today’s children’s programming.

    ‘What in imbessile’ ‘What a maroon’. Classic Bugs Bunny. Thanks for the memories, Father.
    Be careful when you go to ‘kill da wabbit.’

  27. I have yet to cast my vote.

    I beleive I require more information before casting my ballot.

    For example, Rev.d and dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf, are you expecting company?

    If so, the of what kind (I mean to ask, I hope it is clear, whether your guests are culinarily inclined and open to experimentation)? [I can't believe you are asking that.]

    If open to experimentation, are you reasonably confident in your ability successfully to conduct an experiment with a previously untried dish? [Yes, I am reasonably confident.]

    I have spent hours, days and even up to a week just trying to get inside a recipe – or if you will, to wrap my head around one.

    These are all questions, the answers to which would inform my own decision in a similar situation.

    Best,
    C.

  28. Fr. A.M. says:

    Any chance of more Bugs Bunny ?

  29. Jon says:

    Forget the decadent French.

    In honor of the Holy Father, you can’t beat hassenpheffer!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDe8fTgVUZw

  30. How about Cunigghiu a la Stimpirata (Sicilian Sweet and Sour Rabbit)? My dad’s family is from Augusta in the Province of Siricusa, Sicily

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 75 minutes
    Total Time: 105 minutes
    Servings: 4
    Ingredients:

    •2 wild rabbits
    •Flour
    •6 ounces (150 g) pitted green olives, chopped
    •2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
    •An onion, sliced
    •3 ribs celery, chopped
    •2 bay leaves
    •1 1/2 ounces (35 g) pine nuts
    •1 1/2 ounces (35 g) raisins
    •2 carrots, cut into rounds
    •1 cup white wine vinegar
    •2 tablespoons sugar
    •Olive oil
    •Salt
    •Ground hot pepper or pepper to taste

    Preparation:

    Chop the rabbits into 6-8 pieces each, discarding their heads. Dredge the remaining pieces in flour and brown them well in hot oil, turning them often lest they burn. While you’re browning the rabbit, heat a little more oil in a second pot and cook the onion and celery until the onion has wilted and turned golden, then add the capers, olives, carrots, raisins, pine nuts, and bay leaves. Transfer the browned rabbit pieces to the second pot, season them with salt and pepper, dust them generously with sugar, and sprinkle the vinegar over them. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the rabbit until it’s tender, by which time the vinegar should have for the most part evaporated, so as to produce a thick sauce. [That sounds really good.]

    How to transform this into Cunigghiu ‘Nciculattatu, Rabbit with Chocolate?

    Omit the olives and capers called for above, adding, in their place, 2 more bay leaves, three cloves, 1 tablespoon of wild fennel seeds, and, when you add the vinegar and sugar, 2 ounces (50 g) shredded bitter chocolate.

  31. shadowlands says:

    Why would anywun wite a wabbit wecipe? I weep for de wabbit!

  32. Yum! Whatever you pick, Father, I’m sure it’ll be good!

    Re: getting your head around new recipes

    When it comes to expensive ingredients, most of us only get to try the recipe once. Or once a year or so, depending. You might figure out a way to try out a technique several times in a row; but most of us couldn’t afford to play Cordon Bleu or America’s Test Kitchen with anything but eggs or apples. Unless rabbits are exceedingly cheap and plentiful in his area, I sorta doubt Father has the budget for a week of practice rabbits, never mind the other ingredients.

    One also becomes rather fatalistic about these things. I’ve had recipes fail spectacularly, for no apparent reason, even though I know them like the back of my hand. Familiar ingredients can be changed radically by weather or production changes they don’t warn the consumer about. You’re never safe, so there’s not much point worrying about it. (Unless you’re just going to give up cooking, of course. Recipes never fail for you then.)

    That said, since Father’s worked with rabbit before, and since he’s an experienced cook, he can reasonably expect things to turn out; and if they don’t, he can reasonably expect to be able to rescue it.

  33. Nathan says:

    Ah, I have fond memories of my grandmother’s (+RIP) stewed rabbit with dumplings. Of course, it’s probably too warm for that (unless Spring is late to the Northwoods), and we stewed the rabbit because it was wild and tough–my grandfather hunted them.

    In Christ,

  34. Timbot2000 says:

    HASENPFEFFER!!!!!! (bugs Bunny reference)

  35. chcrix says:

    “Peter? Bugs!? THUMPER?!?”

    I was thinking more along the lines of Hazel, Fiver, and Bigwig.

    General Woundwort!

    Now that would be a challenge.

  36. Andrew says:

    It was said in antiquity that eating rabbit for seven days would make one handsome (pulchros esse dicunt eos qui septem diebus leporem comederint (Lamprid. in Alexandr. c.38) which is alluded to also by Martialis in Book 5 as follows:

    Si quando leporem mittis mihi, Gellia, dicis:
    ‘Formosus septem, Marce, diebus eris.’
    Si non derides, si verum, lux mea, narras,
    Edisti numquam, Gellia, tu leporem.

    (When, Gellia, you send me a rabbit, you say:
    “in seven days, Mark, you’ll be handsome”.
    If this is not a game, if it is true, my dear,
    then you Gellia never had rabbit before.)

    [GREAT COMMENT!]

    Gold Star for the Day Award

  37. wanda says:

    We want Bugs Bunny, We want Bugs Bunny….

  38. J Kusske says:

    I take it we should just eat pottage and give the savings to charity, with glum faces in all likelihood? That seems far more in keeping with Calvinism than the good Catholic “wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s music and laughter and good red wine”…

  39. J Kusske says:

    Woundwort?! Cooked? Ha! Besides, he didn’t really die you know… Nobody saw the body! ;)

  40. J Kusske says:

    Well, the farmer at Cowslip’s warren certainly knew a thing or two about the proper way of cooking a rabbit! I wish we could get a recipe or two from that source.

  41. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Domesticated or wild rabbit? The French is better for the wild (there is a definite difference). My Golden Retriever “Maggie” would be happy and honored to share her catch from this morning… the wild version. [Good doggie.]

  42. Kate Asjes says:

    We recently moved–went from one filthy, hungry pet fish in suburbia to a small acreage with 2 puppies, 3 rabbits, 6 cats, 55 chickens (layers), and about 20,000 bees–in addition to our 6 children. Our oldest daughter chose the rabbits, Californian, for breeding to eat (we get some strange comments when telling people this, like, wow, are you from Appalachia?). We lost the first litter to an unexpected frost on Mother’s Day. We would be happy to provide you with a frozen rabbit or two, when production is up and running!

    BTW, our 2-year-old likes to belt out “Kill the Wabbit” from her car-seat on long road trips… [LOL!]

  43. Ralph says:

    Good for you Father! Many folks shy away from Mr. Rabbit. They are missing out.

    I must say, the rabbit HAS to be better than that elk you cooked the other week. I am sorry, but it didn’t look very tasty to me! But, I am NOT an elk man. Too strong for my pallet. [The elk was superb!]

    Whatever you decide, would you please do the same as you did last week with the beef and give us a “play by play”? I learned a lot!

  44. Joan M says:

    I have vague memories of eating rabbit from my youth – my father suffered from coronary thrombosis and was only allowed either chicken or rabbit. I HATED rabbit – I found that the meat was covered with a thin gelatinous covering that made me gag.

    These days, rabbit as meat is making a comeback and I see it in the supermarkets sometimes. However, my negative memories of it stops me from trying it again. Is there a gelatinous coating on the meat???? [Not that I have ever seen.] Am I wrong? Or was it that my mother, whose cooking I otherwise enjoyed, did not know how to cook rabbit?

    Any opinions??

  45. Sacristymaiden says:

    Err, sorry if this is a rabbit-hole, but does anyone know any recipes for guinea pig and/or hamster? I’ve never had them, but I’ve heard they can be quite tasty.
    Oh, and I’d also love to try rattlesnake sometime! :)

  46. Ralph says:

    Sacristymaiden,

    Try googling under “cuy” in spanish. My understanding is that they are traditionally roasted over a fire and served with roasted potatoe. I’m not sure at what age they best consumed.

    Hamster – not sure about that. I am not aware of any cultural use of hamster as food.

    Rattlesnake – substitute for chicken in any “shake and bake” or fried recipe. My dad likes it. I refuse. I don’t eat reptiles. Personal thing :)

  47. Gregg the Obscure says:

    This is a near occasion of envy for me. I’ve been craving bunny for weeks, but am in no position to have same.

  48. Ralph: In Patrick O’Brien’s Aubrey/Maturin series, I think it was in Wine Dark Sea, Stephen is reduced for a time to eating lots of Guinea Pigs while trekking through the Andes.

    I checked for Guinea Pig recipes in my handy copy of  Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels (which it’s a book sent to me by one of the readers of this here blog, ain’t it?).  Alas, no joy.  And it is fairly complete in other respects for all things culinary in the series.

    That “Spotted Dog” is not related in any way to the infamous Chinese-dog-eating post, of course.  Though in the the Aubrey/Maturin series there were lots of roasted dogs from natives in the south seas, if memory serves.  No, in “spotted dog”, “dog” is a variation of “dough”.   “Spotted Dog” is, therefore, a suet pudding, the “true heroes’ delight”, named in Latin by Stephen rather generically as “Sebi confectio discolor“.

    On some future trip to Old Blighty, I would lov to have a real steamed or boiled pudding.  I had a small one in a pub once, but I think it may have been sub-optimal.  Grainy ain’t in it.

  49. Allena says:

    It’s rabbit, fried in bacon grease…then stewed in red wine…nough said. Anything else is a waste of a rabbit imo

    HASENPFEFFER
    Braised Rabbit in Spiced Red Wine Sauce

    1/2 lb. lean bacon, finely chopped
    2 2- 1/2 to 3 lb. fryer rabbits, cut into serving pieces.
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup minced shallots or onions
    1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
    1 cup dry red wine
    1 cup chicken stock
    2 tbls. brandy
    1 tsp. currant jelly
    1 small bay leaf
    1/8 tsp. dried rosemary
    1/8 tsp. dried thyme
    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

    In a heavy 5 qt. flameproof casserole, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp. Spread the bacon out on a double thickness of paper towels to drain and set the casserole with the bacon fat aside.
    Wash the rabbit pieces under cold water and pat thoroughly dry. Sprinkle with the pieces with salt and pepper, then dip into flour and shake off any excess.
    Heat the bacon fat in the casserole over high heat until it sputters. Add the rabbit, a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides, regulating the heat so that they brown quickly and evenly without burning. As they are done, transfer the pieces to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tbls. fat from the casserole and in it cook the shallots/onions and garlic, stirring frequently, for 4 or 5 minutes until the onions are soft and transparent but not brown. Pour in the wine and stock, and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping in any brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan. Stir in the brandy, currant jelly, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, and return the rabbit and any juices collected around it to the casserole. Add the drained bacon, cover the casserole tightly and bake in a 350 oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the rabbit is tender but not falling apart.
    (Young fryer rabbits cook in about an hour). Pick out the bay leaf, stir in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning. The sauce should be quite peppery.
    Serve the rabbit directly from the casserole or arrange on a deep heated platter and pour the sauce over. Noodles or German Spatzle (Tiny Dumplings) are excellent with this recipe. Serves 6 to 8.
    (Doris L. Carnahan)

  50. Allena says:

    It’s rabbit, fried inbacon grease then stewed in red wine…nough said. Anything else is a waste of a perfectly good rabbit imo.

    HASENPFEFFER
    Braised Rabbit in Spiced Red Wine Sauce

    1/2 lb. lean bacon, finely chopped
    2 2- 1/2 to 3 lb. fryer rabbits, cut into serving pieces.
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup minced shallots or onions
    1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
    1 cup dry red wine
    1 cup chicken stock
    2 tbls. brandy
    1 tsp. currant jelly
    1 small bay leaf
    1/8 tsp. dried rosemary
    1/8 tsp. dried thyme
    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

    In a heavy 5 qt. flameproof casserole, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until crisp. Spread the bacon out on a double thickness of paper towels to drain and set the casserole with the bacon fat aside.
    Wash the rabbit pieces under cold water and pat thoroughly dry. Sprinkle with the pieces with salt and pepper, then dip into flour and shake off any excess.
    Heat the bacon fat in the casserole over high heat until it sputters. Add the rabbit, a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides, regulating the heat so that they brown quickly and evenly without burning. As they are done, transfer the pieces to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tbls. fat from the casserole and in it cook the shallots/onions and garlic, stirring frequently, for 4 or 5 minutes until the onions are soft and transparent but not brown. Pour in the wine and stock, and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping in any brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan. Stir in the brandy, currant jelly, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme, and return the rabbit and any juices collected around it to the casserole. Add the drained bacon, cover the casserole tightly and bake in a 350 oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the rabbit is tender but not falling apart.
    (Young fryer rabbits cook in about an hour). Pick out the bay leaf, stir in the lemon juice and taste for seasoning. The sauce should be quite peppery.
    Serve the rabbit directly from the casserole or arrange on a deep heated platter and pour the sauce over. Noodles or German Spatzle (Tiny Dumplings) are excellent with this recipe. Serves 6 to 8.
    (Doris L. Carnahan)

  51. Allena says:

    oops, well it’s so awesome it bears repeating LOL

    Seriously – this stuff is the BEST!

    Make it with chicken for you folks who are without any nice freezer bunny.

  52. my kidz mom says:

    Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit…ROFL!

  53. Ralph says:

    Allena,

    That looks delicious! I may have to put on my adventure hat and give that a try.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  54. Jaybirdnbham says:

    Oh thank you for that Elmer Fudd clip at the end, Father! Just got my best laugh of the day (so far). Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit! ROFL

  55. mibethda says:

    Ralph, Have you been hanging out with Dan Quayle in the “potatoe” patch?

  56. New Sister says:

    I copied both rabbit receipies above – thanks! I’ve only made one rabbit dish & it’s always a success w/ my guests – but I don’t recommend it on a hot or humid day. Lapin aux Pruneaux – (rabbit with prunes)

    1 “beau” rabbit cut into pieces
    2 cups red wine
    1 tbsp superfine sugar
    20 Agen prunes
    Salt & Pepper
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/4 cup Armagnac
    1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    1 medium-size onion, finely chopeed
    2 garlic cloves finely chopped
    3 shallots, finely chopped
    2/3 cup heavy cream (or crème fraîche)

    Mix red wine & sugar in saucepan; bring to boil; when sugar has dissolved, add the prunes & simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain & reserve liquid, keeping the prunes in the pan.
    Season the rabbit pieces w/ salt & pepper. Heat the oil & lightly brown the rabbit pieces on all sides (~15 inues); remove from heat.
    Heat the Armagnac in a ladle over a flame until alight, then pour over the rabbit pieces. Swirl gently until the flames have died down.
    Put the pan back over medium-low heat, add the thyme leaves, onion, garlic, and shallots. Cook, sirring allthe time, for 5 more minutes.
    Stir in the wine reserved from teh prunes & bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 40-45 minutes.
    Remove from heat; place rabbit pieces on a dish & keep warm in a moderate oven.
    Reduce the liquid in the pan over high heat until thicker and almost syrupy Add the cream, stirring, bring to boil for 2 minutes until smooth. Return the rabbit pieces to the pan, add the prunes, reheat for 2 mintues … place the rabbit & prunes on a serving disk and pour the sauce over and serve immediately. Bon apétite!

  57. Charivari Rob says:

    Father, the Bugs Bunny clips reminded me of one more French recipe that probably isn’t in Julia Child’s book.

    “French Rarebit” – http://fliiby.com/file/511076/g16aho477j.html

  58. Agnes of Prague says:

    Allena, thanks for the note about chicken! Hey, we have chicken in the freezer and a pound of bacon. All I need is red wine. Now I reallllly want to try the Hasenpfeffer.

  59. Sieber says:

    Who does the deed & clean up the mess, the local butcher or the Sabine Shephard?

  60. momoften says:

    It would be wonderful if you could cam out the kitchen and we could watch you at work Father!

  61. People in Peru think guinea pig is delicious. People not from Peru…

    Well, it’s not that it’s bad, apparently. But most Peruvians apparently overcook it (to foreign tastes, anyway), and it just can’t stand up to cooking it as much as you’d cook a big animal like a chicken or a slab of beef. Also, guinea pig is very small and has a lot of bones, so non-Peruvians get frustrated trying to get enough meat to justify the fiddling.

    Here are some traditional guinea pig cooking methods:
    http://www.shelfordfeast.co.uk/guineapig.html

    This page includes a Peruvian painting of Jesus and the 12 Apostles eating guinea pig. So we’re back on topic. :)

  62. Hans says:

    Mmmm. Rabbit.

    I don’t have it often, but I usually have a Czech/Slovak take on Hasenpfeffer. (Though I thought Hasenpfeffer was, strictly speaking, hare and not rabbit.)

  63. RichardT says:

    I love rabbit – a cheap and very under-rated meat.

    I think the Lapin au supiquet sounds very interesting (not one I know), and would definitely try it.

    One hint though – when cooking rabbit in red wine, the wine can go a rather unappealing pink colour (Germoline Pink, if you have Germoline over there). I don’t know why it does this, and it doesn’t affect the taste, but it doesn’t look nice. The way round it that I have found is to use port instead of red wine, which for some reason doesn’t do the pink thing. Maybe the vinegar in the Lapin au supiquet also counteracts the pink tendency, but I don’t know.

    The Sicilian recipe someone suggested above also sound excellent. Rabbit with prunes is also very good, and one that I used to do a lot.

  64. RichardT says:

    Re guinea pigs (someone asked); my favourite cookbook (Andre Simon’s 1952 Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy) gives the following suggestions:

    1) “bake it as gypsies do the hedgehog” (i.e. cover it in wet clay, bake in the clay and then crack open the hardened clay to eat it – this sounds rather fun, so I think I would try this one);
    or
    2) stewed, with mushrooms
    or
    3) a la soubise (basically with an onion sauce)

    He suggests that the females should be eaten at about 8 months old, but the males are best eaten earlier, at four months.

    Alternatively I would probably try the recipe he gives for rat:
    “stuff with a simple stuffing made of breadcrumbs, sweet herbs, and a little pepper and salt, mixed with the liver and heart of the rat. Roast for a few minutes in a hot oven”. Apparently this results in “a delicious dish not unlike a snipe in flavour”

    I would have thought guinea pig would be rather fiddly to eat though.

    “Rats are not a dainty dish to set before a king,
    But for a very hungry man they’re just the very thing.
    Wrap each rat in bacon fat, slow roast before the fire,
    Take him down,
    and serve him brown,
    you’ve all you can desire.”

  65. RichardT says:

    Ralph, there is an online recipe for Hamster Burgers, but I would have thought it would take an excessive amount of effort (and mass carnage in the pet shop) to get enough to make it worthwhile lighting the barbeque.

  66. eiggam says:

    The clip Fr. Z posted is from “What’s Opera Doc”.

    Originally released to theaters by Warner Bros. on July 6, 1957, What’s Opera, Doc? features the speaking and singing voices of Mel Blanc as Bugs and Arthur Q. Bryan as Elmer (except for one word dubbed by Blanc). The short is also sometimes informally referred to as Kill the Wabbit after the line sung by Fudd to the tune of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”, the opening passage from Act Three of Die Walküre (which is also the leitmotif of the Valkyries). This short is also notable for one of the final performances of Elmer Fudd by Arthur Q. Bryan, who died in 1959.

    In 1994, What’s Opera, Doc? was voted #1 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by 1000 members of the animation field.

  67. Rev.d and Dear Father,

    My earlier question was not, I admit, a model of efficiency, nor was it terribly (shall I say?) sensitive.

    My asking of it, however, does make sense, if you consider it in a general and not a pointed way.

    My suoceri, for example, are excellent cooks (both of them), but they are not folks to whom I would serve a previously untried recipe. If they were weekend guests, we might make an experiment of an elaborate and time-consuming culinary project together, but I would not use them as “guinea pigs (w/ a nod to O’Brien’s hero).”

    It is no judgment, but obedience to the law of hospitality (our Pagan ancestors would here insert a ‘by Zeus!’ or some analogous expression) to know one’s guests and seek to accomodate them, as I am sure you agree. [Good grief. Mr. Altieri, I am not sure how old you are, but it is possible that I was cooking for guests when you were learning to walk. o{];¬) ]

    Best,
    C.

  68. Allena says:

    The Hassenpheffer is ….astonishingly yummy and delicate in flavor. IT is truly unique and interesting, nobody will regret trying it…after all, it’s bacon and wine. Everything tastes better with bacon and wine LOL.

    We butchered some rabbits, and I have very grudgingly doled them out, one by one. Each time we prepare this I savor it and anticipate the next time we’ll make it lol.

    Almost all rabbit recipes can be prepared with chicken. Seriously, rabbit and chicken are very similar except that rabbit is moister and more tender.

  69. J Kusske says:

    Thanks RichardT for the off-the-beaten track knowledge! That Gypsy technique for baking hedgehog sounds just like the traditional Chinese dish “beggars chicken”, made just the same way: wrapping clay around it and baking directly in a fire. I’ve never had it before even in a restaurant but I’d be happy to try it. (I don’t suppose you have, Father Z…? Would you be up for trying this for a future dish? If anyone could pull that off, you could!)

  70. wanda says:

    The hamster to our left is not amused.

  71. J Kusske: Hedgehog? I have not yet encountered hedgehog on a menu.

    And I am sure that were I to consider its preparation, some tender people might object to cooking Spiny Norman, or one of his cousins.

  72. I would never dream of remonstrating with you in these pages, Rev.d and dear Father Zuhlsdorf.

    I was merely explicating the principle upon which my considerations rest and by which they were informed – for the benefit of the younger and less seasoned readers :-).

    Best,
    C.

  73. RichardT says:

    J Kusske, interesting – I have never heard of chicken being cooked in that way.

    But does Chinese “beggar’s chicken” actually contain chicken, or is it something like Welsh Rabbit that doesn’t actually contain the meat in question?

  74. J Kusske says:

    Absolutely, Beggars Chicken uses the real meat of its name–from what I see, it has a stuffing put inside along Western lines but using Chinese ingredients, and is then wrapped in lotus leaves and clay and baked, either directly in the flames or in an oven. It’s supposed to be a Beijing or Hangzhou dish, certainly from somewhere in Eastern China, but it seems it’s a bit uncertain whether northern or southern. I’m hoping I’ll have the chance to try it one of these days. (And Fr. Z, I wasn’t referring to cooking hedgehog, though I wouldn’t try to talk you out of it if you decided to do it! I meant the Beggars Chicken…)

  75. AnAmericanMother says:

    I think you have to be Rom to eat hedgehog.

    You can read all about it in George Borrow’s Lavengro. Which is worth reading whether you are interested in cooking hatchi or not.