Maltese Rabbit Stew ~ The Slaughterhouse Jive

Last night, our PTA meeting ended in bloodshed ~ Welcome to Night Vale

rabbit

Once upon a time, fellow WordPress wayfarer, Locksley, embarked upon a sweet little escapade around the Archipelago of Malta– albeit without the saintly Sister Madly. Not that he should feel the least bit guilty about this, mind you, with Sister Madly being something of a stranger;* however, it should be noted that any misfortune that befell Locksley during this Madly-free holiday- such as a plague of flying ants falling from the sky- was simply a coincidence.

* Yes, yes- rumors persist about how Sister Madly’s traveling companions are never seen nor heard from again, but these are the risks one takes when traveling. Besides, no one has ever proven a thing.

So after rambling around this exotic locale (without her) the valiant Locksley passed along to Sister Madly a recipe for a local delicacy- seriously, it uses an entire bottle of wine; what’s not to love? A most gracious gesture indeed, my friend.

valletta_malta-wallpaperweb

However, finding rabbit meat in her hometown was not as easy as it should have been. The local butcher scene remains rabbit-free to this day, no doubt from the appalling lack of such creatures in the immediate area. Apparently, her town is nothing like the lush, fertile landscape of Malta (where she as never been) which is essential to the cottontail diet.

This search eventually led Sister Madly into the dark recesses of a farmer’s market, where she found a freezer simply labeled ‘game meat.’ Not wishing to look like a vegetarian to the crusty ol’ rancher, Sister Madly approached the situation as carnivorously as possible:

What sound did this beast make when it was alive?

quail

While she didn’t find rabbit that day, she now knows what a quail sounds like.

So just as Sister Madly was threatening to eat a chicken nugget for every minute she went without a rabbit, the universe came through with an unexpected source: the seaside-residing, yet ever resourceful, Tallulah.

Now one would think that a small, coastal town would be known for its fresh seafood, not for its exotic meats- but then, who is she to decide what tickles the fancy of a seaside hamlet? Even if the carcass looked suspiciously like Tallulah’s intrepid little feline, Caviar…*

* Sans fur. And head. And feet. And everything else that makes amateur forensic identification impossible.

Until that moment, Sister Madly had been rather ambivalent on the subject of small game butchery, and would have remained so had the rabbit already been jointed. Sure, she’s cut up a chicken before, but it takes a great deal of imagination to tie this:

chicken2

… to this:

polish chicken

Really, Mr. Butcher, if you took such care to remove the head and the feet, could you not also joint the creature? No doubt the savage finesse with which you wield a cleaver is nothing short of a culinary ballet, but stopping short of jointing is much like flossing your teeth halfway through a pirouette.

And by the way, it was most considerate of you, Mr. Butcher, to leave the kidneys in tact. It’s like finding a pearl in an oyster- a delightful, disgusting, little pearl.

At least, she assumes those were the kidneys…

After watching a video of a posh British lady jointing a rabbit on the internet- and indulging in a cider or two- Sister Madly found herself uttering those fatal words: how hard can it be?

hand-grenade

But what started as an evening full of Let’s Make Rabbit Stew! optimism quickly became a nightmare of hacking, sawing, and a few choice words for Posh British Lady on the Internet. It’s no wonder the butcher didn’t joint the creature- it’s virtually impossible. The state penitentiary should consider reinforcing their cells with rabbit bones- nothing short of the Holy Hand Gernade was going to cut through those suckers. It would have been easier to slaughter and joint her brother-in-law.*

* Not really. Well… no, not really.

Needless to say, Sister Madly’s stew appears to be less than traditional in its presentation- that is, not served on the bone. She says ‘appears’ because she has never been to Malta, thus cannot say for certain. No doubt this was merely an oversight on the part of the valiant Locksley, much like the way one forgets to pack a toothbrush.

* A special ‘Thank You’ to Locksley– even if you did forget to take her along. She’ll overlook it- this time.

rcp-rabbit-stew

MALTESE RABBIT STEW

  • 1 Rabbit, jointed
  • 1 bottle full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 sprigs of thyme
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp sumac
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 16-18 cippolini or pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 10-12 baby potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil, for sauteing

Marinate rabbit in garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and 1 cup wine 1 hour to overnight
In dutch oven, brown rabbit on all sides; set aside (reserve marinade)
Saute chopped onion in oil; 5 min
Deglaze with 1 cup wine; 3-5 min
Add sumac and tomato paste, mix
Add carrots, potatoes, cippolini/pearl onions, mix
Add rabbit and marinade (including bay leaves, thyme and garlic)
Mix in stock and remaining wine; bring to a boil
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1½ – 2 hours, or until meat is tender
Add peas and capers 10-15 minutes before the end of cooking
Remove bay leaves before serving

THEME SONG: White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane

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39 responses

  1. Oh thank you for the chuckle! I needed that! By the way, how did it taste? 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 6:53 AM

    • It was rather tasty! Even Tallulah’s cat, Caviar, was begging for some- then again, he also begs for American Cheese…

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2017 at 11:03 AM

  2. LOL! Sounds quite lovely! An entire bottle of wine?! Wow.

    I grew up eating rabbit and it’s quite delicious. It’s somewhat funny, much of the world eats lamb and mutton, but I would never touch the stuff. That’s just wrong. Rabbit however, meets with my approval. We can be very weird about what perceived as acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 7:00 AM

    • It is strange what foods are considered delicacies. One that really creeps me out is sea urchin- who was it that first looked at that thing and said, ‘wow- that looks tasty!’??

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2017 at 11:07 AM

      • Hmm… caught one of those yesterday… and a sand shark… threw them both back, although I’d have tried the shark if there was nothing else in the net.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 26, 2017 at 10:23 PM

  3. Absolutely delicious Ms Madly! Both the stew and the wit. Perhaps suggesting “Locks” in a Barley Soup may get you that invitation to far off places.

    Alas poor Peter, we chewed you well.

    Condolence cards may be sent to 1 Bunny Trail Lane c/o Flopsy & Mopsy.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 7:10 AM

    • Perhaps, but how far off are those places?

      But thank-you for providing the address of a few more rabbits should a culinary need ever come about…

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2017 at 11:13 AM

  4. Delightful tripping. I enjoyed reading this and thank you for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 7:44 AM

  5. Ah, wild game meat…I have been tempted by many offerings, and have indulged out of kindness. Meaning, I have yet to spit a portion into my napkin while celebrating the feast of the hunt. Most thoughtful people will encourage by saying, “go ahead, it tastes like beef”, or perhaps they compare it to chicken. My idea, although perhaps not as popular, is to purchase said beef at the grocery, proceed with the bottle of wine as a marinade or to taste, and when serving the Maltese Falcon…sorry, Maltese Rabbit Stew, encourage with, “go ahead, it tastes like beef”. Just a thought 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    • I like your idea- will have to keep that in mind! ;c) Then again, after a bottle or two of wine, even a tire tastes like chicken!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    • Tastes like beef? Of course it doesn’t taste like beef, thank the pixies. I’ll take wild caught game over barn reared beef any day… although I do draw the line at badger, or any of the mustelids for that matter. Fortunately there are no badgers on this island – actually there are no native mammals at all, so anything that squeaks, bleats, grunts or snorts is introduced, and therefore fair game. Feral goat, anyone? Himalayan Tahr? Nom nom nom!

      Liked by 2 people

      February 26, 2017 at 10:20 PM

      • Not all the beef is barn raised- why, just the other day, I saw several cows wandering along the side of the road. Of course, they escaped…

        Himalayan Tahr… suddenly my culinary experiences seem very dull and limited…

        Liked by 1 person

        February 27, 2017 at 10:39 AM

      • “fair game”, I knew thee well. My my, that was a story in 6 words!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 27, 2017 at 10:40 AM

  6. locksley2010

    Bravo, dear Moppet! You have given me fame, thank you, dear! I promise, when I next go galivanting in the world, you shall, of course, be consulted. How did it taste? And which British presenter was it? Love and noodles, Locksley. X

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 9:48 AM

    • I am certain all your fame has been achieved entirely on your own- no doubt Malta (where I have never been) knows your name now? ;c)

      The stew was delicious- thank you for the recipe! Feel free to recommend more…

      I have no idea who the Posh British Lady was, her face was never shown- which was probably for the best, judging by the ease with which she jointed that creature. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are several unsolved murders around her area…

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2017 at 11:47 AM

      • locksley2010

        Ah, thank you lovely! I guarantee that as soon as I come across a recipe that makes me think it is worth checking out, I shall let you know.
        Those murders now make sense…..

        Liked by 1 person

        February 26, 2017 at 2:37 PM

  7. Posh British Ladies usually merit a few choice words… some of them thrive on it. All that formality and repression has to vent somewhere, and it’s not just dismembering small fluffy creatures.
    The misnomer, of course, is why the rabbit is jointed… surely you want it to be disjointed?
    I’ll take mine as I find them… literally.
    Nom nom nom.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    • Come to think of it, the Posh British Lady was very skilled at dismembering that rabbit… far too skilled, in fact…

      I, too, thought the term should be ‘disjointed.’ Apparently, not all small game butchers are masters at the English language…

      Liked by 1 person

      February 26, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    • locksley2010

      Formality and repression? That’s just a charade!

      Liked by 1 person

      March 1, 2017 at 5:35 AM

      • Shhh… not so loudly- Posh British Lady did have a knife, you know…

        Liked by 1 person

        March 1, 2017 at 10:46 AM

        • locksley2010

          Did I fail to mention they are psychotic?

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 11:14 AM

        • Oh! Well, that’s alright then, isn’t it?

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 11:39 AM

        • locksley2010

          Naturally. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 11:47 AM

        • locksley2010

          Loving the new pic by the way!

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 11:47 AM

        • Thanks! Just rockin’ my new onion-chopping eye-wear, although I have no clue what it is I am smoking…

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 11:55 AM

        • locksley2010

          Either way, you wear them all well. And there’s me thinking you were smoking liquorice to counter the onion fumes.

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 2:58 PM

        • Licorice… yeah, let’s go with that!

          Liked by 1 person

          March 1, 2017 at 5:16 PM

  8. Try this… de-boned and quartered. It works at my grocery every time. Dismembering and disjointing sounds a little Jack the Ripper-esque.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 27, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    • Good idea! I suspect many butchers indulge in a Ripper fantasy now and then when dealing with rude customers… best not encourage those thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 27, 2017 at 10:29 AM

      • Hmm… Jack was a little before my time, though I did live for a while on the street where they caught the Yorkshire Ripper… I learned a lot whilst living in that house, including some interesting recipes, and more than would be prudent to publicize about blades. Curiously enough, that was where I first tasted Hoki, and this week I had my first Moki (in preference to the sand shark previously mentioned). It took 30 years to close that loop. I wonder what I will eat 30 years from now. Hopefully there will still be fish in the sea, because I don’t fancy that urchin.

        {If you have never encountered either Hoki or Moki, you would need to look a lot further South, and as far East or West as you can imagine.}

        Liked by 1 person

        February 27, 2017 at 11:48 PM

  9. As the mother of two boys who had, in their youth, over 300 show & meat rabbits, I’m perplexed at the difficulty you had preparing the rabbit for the pot. You just need practice which will require a large barn, cages, and a couple of hundred rabbits. I’ll be happy to talk you through the process. We should probably start with how you’re going to get a barn.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 28, 2017 at 6:57 AM

    • … and where to put a barn in my itty bitty apartment…

      Actually, raising meat rabbits shouldn’t be too hard, provided they are pre-skinned, gutted, and not alive- should be a breeze!

      Liked by 1 person

      February 28, 2017 at 1:04 PM

      • It’s going to have to be a very tiny barn. Maybe I can help you raise meat rabbits by breeding them, offing them, butchering them, and sending them to you. Like a joint project where you do the eating and I do the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 28, 2017 at 2:01 PM

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