Recipe courtesy of Nancy Suttles, publisher of Nourish and Flourish exclusively for the Big Green Egg.
A peasant dish that’s fit for a king, rabbit stew has long been a mainstay on menus across Europe – think ‘Stuffat tal-Fenek’, is considered Malta’s national dish, Coniglio alla cacciatora (hunter’s rabbit stew) in Italy, Estofado de conejo (rabbit stew) in Spain and Lapin à la cocotte (rabbit casserole) in France. Rabbit is also eaten in stews and tagines in Morocco and North Africa. Rabbit is becoming popular again and this warming stew is an old classic. Because rabbit meat tends to dry out during the cooking process, braising it slowly in liquid in this way guarantees the meat to be so tender it falls off the bone. Source: roadsandkingdoms.com
Rabbit is often available at specialty markets, fresh or frozen, or can be ordered by your local butcher. If you can find fresh rabbit, have your butcher piece it out for you. Here we sourced the rabbit from Tim Worley, owner of a Bentley’s All Natural Butcher store in the small town of Winder, Georgia. All of their specialty meats and wild game are hormone free with no preservatives. Serve with wild rice and a rustic bread for dipping.
This meal pairs perfectly with a glass of bourbon. Shown in image are hand-blown glass rocks glasses created by James Stone.
Set EGG for direct cooking without a convEGGtor at 500°F/260°C with the Dutch oven preheating in the EGG. Soak the dry porcini mushrooms in water and drain to remove any grit. Set aside.
Season the rabbit legs with salt and pepper. Put the 4 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil into the Dutch oven. When the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the rabbit legs (in batches if necessary – the meat should sear, not steam). Brown the legs on all sides then remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the convEGGtor for indirect cooking at 375°F/191°C with the Dutch oven back in the EGG.
Add the shallots, celery, porcini and wild mushrooms to the Dutch oven and cook until soft and beginning to caramelize. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and add enough wine to deglaze the pan. Return the rabbit legs and add the rest of the wine, chicken or vegetable stock, potatoes, carrots and thyme making sure the pieces of rabbit are submerged. For more flavor add the back, ribs and belly loin portions to the stock. Cover the Dutch oven and cook for 60–70 minutes until the rabbit is tender. After 30 minutes, remove the lid to allow the liquid to reduce.
Before serving, remove the back and ribs. For the legs and belly loin, remove meat from the bones and shred. Serve the stew with hunks of freshly baked bread and quinoa salad.
Quinoa Salad Instructions
Set your EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 325°F/163°C.
In a bowl, massage the kale and toss with 2 tsp lemon juice and let sit while the persimmons or blood oranges cook. This will reduce the coarseness of the kale.
Dry and toss the persimmons or blood oranges with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove and set aside.
Place the kale on the roasting pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until soft and wilted.
Toss the quinoa with the wilted kale and garnish with pomegranate arils, persimmon or roasted orange slices. Add 2 tsp of lemon juice and serve.
Roasted Garlic Bread Instructions
Set your EGG for indirect cooking with the convEGGtor at 375°F/191°C.
Slice off the top of the garlic bulb (depending on the size of your bulb it should be around ¼ to ½ inch from the top) to expose the individual cloves. Discard any loose papery outer layers. Drizzle the exposed garlic cloves with olive oil. Wrap each bulb with aluminum foil and place on the cooking grid. Cook for 30-40 minutes. While the garlic is roasting, wrap the loaf of bread in aluminum foil and cook 10 minutes or until warm.
Once the garlic is soft, remove from the EGG and unwrap. Gently remove the individual roasted garlic cloves from the skins and spread over warmed bread.