Coniglio alla Cacciatora – A Sustainable Stew from your pressure cooker!
If I told you that there is a meat that is good for the environment, tastes good and is even good for you… would you try rabbit?
Healthy eaters know that rabbit meat has the highest protein (21% compared to Beef 16% and Pork 11%) and least fat (4.5% compared to Beef 28% and Pork 45%) than any other commonly eaten meat. Environmental stewards will like that a Rabbit can produce six pounds of meat on the same amount of feed and water it takes a cow to produce just one pound. Backyard city and sub-urban homesteaders are adding rabbits to their chicken coops because they reproduce often, grow quickly, eat table scraps and their waste can be used to fertilize the garden!
Finding rabbit meat can be a little challenging but not impossible! Your local gourmet or foodie stores should carry it- they may have it frozen or be able to order it for you fresh. If you don’t have one of these stores nearby, ask your supermarket butcher – he may be able to order it or suggest where to go. You can also purchase one online from any of the family farms on the Green People list.
It is common practice to marinate rabbit meat in vinegar and water before cooking. If you caught your rabbit at the super market, you will only need to marinate it for about 4 hours. If you caught your rabbit in the wild a 24 hour marinate is best. You can add aromas to the marinate, as I did for the recipe, below.
|Coniglio alla Cacciatora – Rabbit Hunter’s Recipe from your Pressure Cooker
This recipe only requires a pinch of salt because the rest of the saltiness will come from the salted olive brine. If you substitute the olives for another type, adjust the seasoning accordingly.
1 Rabbit about 2lbs or 1kg, legs separated and body cut into 3 or 4 slices
Marinate the rabbit meat for a minimum of four hours prior to cooking by placing the rabbit pieces in a large bowl with parsley, bay leaf, roughly sliced onion, one cup of vinegar and one cup of white wine and enough water to cover the rabbit. When 4 – 24 hours have passed, discard the marinate, strain and dry the rabbit meat pieces before cooking.
Fill a measuring cup with salted black olives, then add water to the 1 cup mark – set aside and do not discard the water.
In your open pressure cooker, with the top off, on a medium flame add olive oil. When the oil is hot, lightly flour the meat pieces and place in the pressure cooker to sear. Turn over once and when browned on both sides pull out of the pan and set aside. Turn off the flame and add a splash of wine in the hot pan and scrub all of those delicious bits of seared rabbit stuck to the bottom of the pan and set aside to use later.
Add a tablespoon of fresh olive oil and soften the chopped onion, carrot, celery with the sage and rosemary sprigs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. When the vegetables have softened add the meat back in the pan with one cup of red wine. Let everything simmer in the wine in the uncovered pressure cooker for about 10 minutes, swooshing the contents around occasionally.
Give the contents one last stir and then add the olives with their liquid, brown bits you set aside from browning the meat, tomatoes and close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Turn the heat to high and when the pressure cooker reaches pressure lower the flame and begin counting 14 minutes cooking time. When the time has passed, release all of the vapor, unlock and open the lid and move contents to serving dish. If the tomatoes are still whole, give them a light squeeze with the tongs – and don’t forget to remove the remaining stems of the rosemary and sage springs!
So… would you like more rabbit recipes?