Posted by: lisetta | July 31, 2007

Run rabbit run

Coniglio at Eataly
My snapshot, from Eataly in Torino.

The very best rabbit I’ve ever eaten was prepared by my good friend Alain in Paris. He bought it at the market under the metro tracks in the 15eme, soaked it in red wine for a day or two and then stewed it with carrots, onions, olives and herbs. For years I tried to recreate the dish, to no avail.

Carla likes to serve rabbit that’s been deboned and rolled into a savory stuffed roast. Prepared at the local butcher and cooked simply, the rabbit roast is a sure crowd pleaser. Bugialli explains how to debone a rabbit in his Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking, but I haven’t the will or a knife quite sharp enough to do the job.

Josh and I drove all around town one evening, looking for a rabbit for Miguel’s version of paella valenciana, which contained fava beans, chorizo and red peppers, but no seafood. More recently I’ve eaten a Moroccan twist on rabbit, stewed with preserved lemon. Years ago, I even wrote a personals ad on Craigslist entitled “rabbit and polenta”. I got lots of hate mail from vegans and one guy’s grandmother’s recipe for hassenpfeffer, but no dates. Still wonder why?!

It seems that just about everyone has their favorite way of preparing rabbit, the “poor man’s” meat, which in the US has gone high end. At Osteria the other night, Mark Vetri’s grandmother’s recipe graced our table: rabbit ‘casalinga’ –housewife rabbit– cooked in butter and sage and served on a bed of polenta. It was quite delicious as well, as my friend’s photo shows:

Osteria rabbit

Don’t know when I’ll actually cook rabbit again; just got to thinking about it tonight.

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Responses

  1. OH NO!!!! Have you forgotton our pet rabbit? O.M.G.!!

  2. Yes, I remember Hoppy Bunny, the lop-eared black rabbit you bought while I was in college. Good thing he was around well before my rabbit eating days! If it’s any consolation, I’m unable to eat small birds. 🙂


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