Home Baked Stories: Brown Stewed Rabbit

Home Baked Stories is a pilot series showing the stories behind home cooked meals. Episode two features Krista Anderson who is cooking Brown Stewed Rabbit (recipe below).

Our first six episodes focus on cooks from the new homemade meal cooperative, MealKu.

How to make “Brown Stewed Rabbit”

1 rabbit (you can also use chicken or other meat)
green seasoning (nice to have but optional)
2 large onions
1 tomato
up to half a bulb of garlic
scotch bonnet pepper
scallion or spring garlic
chicken stock
1 inch piece ginger, crushed
a bay leaf
a sweet pepper (optional)
coconut oil
soy sauce

1. Wash the meat with either lemon juice or vinegar, rinse

2. Rub with “green seasoning” as well as diced onions and garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Green seasoning is similar to pesto but used to marinate meat and fish. I think it’s called sofrito on the Spanish speaking islands. The recipe varies according to your taste and what is available. I used a good processor to puree thyme, garlic, cilantro, celery, scallion, green scotch bonnet without seeds, and parsley, I make a bunch and freeze it in small zip lock bags, if you spread it thin in the bag, it thaws very quickly under running water. Also a good addition to salad dressing and salsa). Leave to marinate over night.

3. Scrape the onions and garlic off the meat, dust meat with flour (i don’t always do this) and brown in coconut oil in a heavy bottom pot. I always use Virgin Coconut oil because the refined oils are deodorized so they don’t smell “coconutty.”

4. Remove the meat and pour off the browning fat as it will be full of little burnt pieces of flour and stray onion particles. Add a little more coconut oil to the pan (some ppl use butter or peanut oil) and add all the vegetables. Sautee till the onions are softened and slightly brown. Pour in your chicken stock and stir to de glaze the pan and get all the good brown-ness sticking to the bottom.

5. Add the meat to the pot along with 1 tablespoon each “Browning” and soy sauce (maybe a little more soy sauce if you like, you can add more later). Browning is essential to making “Brown Stew” anything. It’s basically burnt sugar, it has a “molasses” kind of taste by itself but it’s a lot thinner. I’ve tried to make my own browning but wound up with dry pebbles of burnt sugar crystals. Maybe I’ll learn the technique one day. For now get a bottle from a green grocer in any West Indian neighborhood. It keeps forever on the shelf.

Also add your herbs and spices: allspice (I prefer whole), thyme (stick and all), bay leaf and crushed ginger (if you fried it already that’s fine) AND whole, uncut scotch bonnet.

6. You can do it on the stove top for 20-30 minutes or until rabbit is cooked through but I find if you have a Dutch Oven,( or “Dutchie” like the song says) you can put the whole thing in a 350 degree oven and it gets very tender and you don’t have to worry about stuff sticking to the bottom.

Serve with plain rice, rice and peas, or boiled green banana, yam and dumpling.