Friday, June 22, 2012
It's not really that Brazilians object to eating small furry beasts - in the semi-arid interior of northeastern Brazil there's a tradition of eating an animal called preá - Wikipedia translates it into English as Brazilian guinea pig. Perhaps part of the reason is that rabbits are not native to most of South America and arrived in Brazil only after the country was colonized by Europeans. To this day southern Brazil has no wild rabbit population.
However, there has been a recent increase in interest in rabbits as food - from domesticated, fared rabbits. The health benefits of rabbit meat, which is lean and low in cholesterol, appeal to 21st Century eaters around the world, and the relative ease of entry into the rabbit-farming world is appealing to would-be rabbit producers.
This recipe for rabbit cooked in a clay pot comes from the website of Coelhos Lagoa Funda, a rabbit farm in the state of Espírito Santo. This state is famed for its clay pots so it's only natural that regional dishes cooked in clay pots would be adapted to rabbits.
As with yesterday's recipe, this dish can successfully be cooked in ceramic, cast iron or other metal cookware, but according to the recipe source it is particularly delicious when cooked in clay.
RECIPE - Rabbit in a Clay Pot (Coelho na Panela de Barro)
2 rabbits, cut into serving pieces
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 medium onion, chopped
1 1/3 cup (350 ml) dry white wine
34 cup (200 ml) water
fresh rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then brown the pieces of rabbit on all sides. Do in two batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Reserve the browned rabbit.
In a wide deep clay pot (or other suitable piece of cookware) place the reserved pieces of rabbit, then sprinkle the chopped carrots, tomatoes and onions over. Gently pour in the white wine and water, then sprinkle the chopped rosemary.
Bring to a boil over a medium flame, then reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook for about one hour, gently stirring from time to time. If the dish begins to dry out, add more water. At the end of the cooking time, if the sauce is very liquid increase heat and boil the sauce to thicken it.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately in the clay pot. Accompany with buttered egg noodles or boiled potatoes.