Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Rabbit a la kriek, a la Katie


I always get excited this time of year with the arrival of game in the shops. I’ve cooked several types over the past couple of years: pheasant (faisin), guinea fowl (pintade), rabbit (lapin) wildboar (sanglier or marcassin) and venison (cerf). You can buy game in many larger supermarkets and in your local butcher. There is also a dedicated game butcher near Stockel called a la becasse where you can find lots of game all year round.
I decided to try rabbit again this year. I should warn you, if you are in any way squeamish, please stop reading now.

Rabbit a la kriek
So, hello and thank you to all of you who have continued reading. The ‘eeeks’ factor with rabbit is high. If you do not like knowing what your food looks like, rabbit is not for you. Also, unless you are prepared to do a little dissection, again, rabbit not for you. This is ‘food with a face’ literally, as I discovered when I removed the torso from the packet and discovered the eyeless head of our dinner staring up at me. I also (quickly) realised I’d just brushed its snout with my hand. I’ll repeat that: I. Had. Just. Brushed. Its. Snout. With. My. Hand. <<shudder>>. I turned the torso over and saw that the kidneys were still attached; I had already spotted the liver peeking at me all this time.
Still, snip, snip. Slice, slice. All the offal was removed and binned together with the head and the shoulders. I’d like to add that rabbit is possibly an excellent diet dish as by this stage there was not a whole lot of food left – that is if you feel like eating at all by now.
I couldn’t find a recipe I liked the sound of (many suggested pureeing the liver in a food processor with a variety of things to add to the sauce for some added ‘oumph’. Pureed liver. Like seriously, are there more disgusting words in the English language. My sauce was going to be oomph-less).

So, for rabbit a la kriek, a la Katie:
A tablespoon of flour seasoned with some salt and pepper
Whatever parts of a rabbit you’re willing to eat
An chopped onion 
A chopped carrot (logic dictated that rabbits eat carrots, to therefore it is only natural that they get cooked with them too)
A bottle of kriek
Some cherries from a jar
A bit of thyme

I dusted the rabbit pieces in the seasoned flour and then browned the meat in batches in a heavy casserole. Once done and removed, I cooked the onion in a little oil for about five minutes, until softened. To this, I added a slug of the beer and deglazed the dish. I then added the carrot and cooked it for a minute before snugly fitting the browned rabbit pieces on top of the vegetables and pouring the rest of the beer. I turned the heat down to low and covered it with a lid. This cooked for about 45 minutes. I stirred it and left it for another 30 mins. I removed the rabbit and reduced the sauce a bit, added the rabbit back in and left it to cool a little.
Taste wise? It was ok. Just about ok. One reason behind this is the food with a face thing. I prefer rabbit when someone else prepares it. The actual taste of the meal regardless of the aspect… neh, not great. The flavour was not worth it. And the amount of food I got off the rabbit isn’t wonderful either. I am still hungry and contemplating a sandwich. Overall, rabbit looks a bit too much like its base element – something you don’t get with a lot of other meats. No. 

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