A week ago on Tuesday evening I was at Richard Lafortune’s place for a “bunny with carrots” meal. I supplied the carrots, which I had bought at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. The carrots were small and a little bit gnarly, but they were elevated to cuisine by a Serbian (yes.) recipe for carrots with yogurt.
A note for all of us would-be excellent cooks, before Richard found the right recipe and combo of his imaginative cooking, many recipes were read before the preparation begins.
(Warning! Rabbits have a lot of small bones. Eat after removing meat from the bones.)
Menu: Thyme and Juniper Rabbit served with Serbian yogurt carrots with blueberry sauce.
The rabbit was purchased at the Seward Co-op in Minneapolis. Since I have never had rabbit, I was a little reluctant to try it, but Richard convinced me. (The price of the rabbit was ridiculous – $30.00.)
I was the photographer and Richard plied his talents as chef.
Based on the recipe from Tarragon Rabbit from “Classic American Cookery” by Pearl Byrd Foster; Simon and Schuster, Fireside Books 1983; Pages 116-117.
3 rabbits, each weighing 2-3 lbs cleaned, cut in serving portions (giblets removed)
Flour for dusting
1 tsp dried tarragon leaves
(Here Richard used, instead of tarragon, 4 fresh sprigs thyme)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces (Three sticks of butter)
(Richard used a ¼ cup of butter and ¼ cup olive combination instead of all butter)
3 cups of dry white wine or stock
2-4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour
Blend the flour, half of the tarragon (Thyme) and pepper together with Old Bay seasoning
- Toss the pieces of rabbit in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.
- Melt butter (And olive oil) in a sauté pan and brown rabbit on all sides.
- Lower heat and add wine (or Stock) and simmer covered about 45 minutes [Here Richard used 1 cup apple cider plus 1-2 cups of chicken stock instead of wine]. Add remaining tarragon (Thyme and 4 juniper berries) and cook 5 minutes more.
- Remove the rabbit to a warm platter.
- Strain the fat off the drippings, reserving 4 tablespoons of it and place in a saucepan. While fat is heating, blend in 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour and stir with a wire-wisk until mixture has thickened and is well combined. Then add the pan drippings cook slowly, stirring constantly until smooth. Season to taste and pour over rabbit and serve very hot. [Richard added tsp of pepper to the flour and 1½ tsp of salt.]
Serbian Carrots with Yogurt
Cleaned and washed small carrots (not baby carrots)
Suggestion: steam carrots first in water to soften
To the softened carrots sauce pan
Add brown sugar
Fleur de sel (or salt)
Oil and butter
Ground black pepper
½ of a small onion finally chopped
Stir the carrots to cover with the ingredients and to prevent sticking on a medium to low heat.
When carrots are browned remove from heat and place in a bowl. Then add ¾ cup of yogurt mixed with teaspoon of dried dill and serve.
Add frozen blueberries, about a cup and a half to a pan with ¼ cup of sugar.
To thicken Richard added a tsp of “Bird’s Custard Powder” (If you have such a thing in your cupboard.) Which he laughingly told me was his secret ingredient. Cause he knows I am such a purist. (A little cooking joke.)
Alternatively, I add a teaspoon of berry jam to thicken my fruit sauce.
A side story for your reading is attached about a Missouri Farmer who bought a pair of rabbits for his son to learn responsibility and wound up being fined millions of dollars by the USDA for selling rabbits. It’s commentary on farming and the application of regulations. (Or Misapplication depending on your point of view)