First let me say that we have deer fence for our gardens but we share with the little critters unless the little critters start taking more than their fair share. Some years the rabbit population is too many - perhaps the neighbors are shooting coyotes - who keep things balanced, or perhaps it was a mild winter so the populations soar. It is then that we try to simply decrease their numbers - no annihilation - just manage their numbers. We get a small game license - it's crazy how many critters you can legally kill with no license - but since bunnies are considered food - we need one and occasionally a bunny goes into a ziploc bag in the freezer. Beau has often been my bunny provider - he is a crack shot and takes care of all of it - the dressing out, the skinning, the cleaning. He washes them, freezer bags them, labels and dates them and into the freezer they go. He says proudly, "I made meat Ma!" which we love to say - an old mountain man term.
So - when we got 5 deer this year we needed room in the deep freeze. "Let's cook up some rabbits Dad!", Beau yelled, and so they did. Out came the 20 qt. stock pot and into it went cold water and 7 frozen rabbits. They began to thaw.
Here's the very large recipe for:
water to cover
1 whole onion - in quarters or whatever.
1 whole Garlic Head
1 Tbsp Whole Peppercorns
1 Tbsp Crushed Fennel Seed
3/4 Tsp Crushed Caraway Seed
2 -3 Bay Leaves
A Little Salt
Boil for a good spell - until the rabbit is fully cooked and easy to pull off the bone.
Let cool enough to handle.
Remove the rabbits and strain the broth to remove above ingredients.
De-bone the rabbits - add the meat back in and bring to a boil.
Add Roux - (brown 1 stick of butter with a couple of handfuls of flour into a paste).
1 Handful of Seasoning Bacon (the kind in chunks).
5 potatoes - diced small - cook until el dente - then add:
Carrots - chopped
Celery + Leaves - chopped
Mushrooms - roughly chopped
Boil again for 10-15 minutes.
Add Kluski noodles - boil for around 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Serve with Tearable Bread (Bread you can tear.)
So good - so crazy good - so rich - so scrumptious we almost hurt ourselves.
Also - we called it soup because it was quite brothy - perfect for dunking bread. Of course - over time - it became a stew.
Enjoy! - Coming next - my mother's famous Venison Stroganoff recipe!