I was excited about this months recipe: Wild Rabbit with Vegetables. This meant I needed to go rabbit hunting. And when I say rabbit hunting, I mean I biked over to the meat packing district in the West Loop of Chicago to purchase my rabbit out of the back door of an old warehouse. I did wear my camouflage pants to be in full rabbit-hunting spirits!
With the fall season approaching I wanted to make something warm and hearty. A cassoulet is similar to classic stew or casserole even, filled with rich slow cooked beans. The perfect welcome to the approaching cool season.
If you haven't had rabbit before, it's tough to describe - it can resemble a tender yet wild chicken but so much better. When prepared in this cassoulet, the rabbit is so moist and tender it falls right off the bone. The beans become almost creamy.
Don your best hunting gear for a trip to the butchers, then get this rabbit in the oven. It's time for a delicious Fat and Happy fall casserole!
Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: If you use dried beans, plan ahead as you'll need to soak them the night before you use them.
Add the onions to the same rabbit pan, cook over medium heat for just a few minutes. Add in the sausage, crumble the sausage into medium sized pieces. Add in the carrots, garlic and dried thyme, let cook for about 5 minutes.
Cover the dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 2 hours. Check the dish half way through, you may need to add a little more broth to it.
Turn the oven to broil, remove the lid from the pan, sprinkle the cassoulet with the bread crumbs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the crumbs and brown under the broiler.
Cooking dried beans:
They key with dried beans is the soaking process to remove the noxious gas. It certainly takes more time and planning to use dried beans but the difference can be be converter-worthy. Personally, I lean on canned beans quite often; but some recipes just scream for the attention of simmered beans. This rabbit dish was one such dish.
There are many great directions for cooking dried beans. Follow this link for basic directions from the California Dried Bean Advisory Board, and there are great directions for cooking dried beans here. I add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves to both the soaking and cooking water for flavor.
Visit all the recipe swappers:
Please take a moment to look at all the rabbit recipe swaps created by this crew. We are a immensely talented and diverse, as you'll see in the various interpretations of this humble recipe by: Christianna, Dennis, Toni, Shumaila, Alex, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Emily, Krissy, Jacqueline, Lana and Jaclyn. Visit the swap page for everyone's bios and please visit all of our blogs to let us all know what you think of our inventions!