Barb is an Athens, OH blogger, and as a lover of all things local, and many things Athens, was immediately drawn to her writing, her recipes, and the simple recipes that result in spectacular dishes. This recipe, in particular, I made after a trip to the huge farmers market in Athens on one fine Saturday. Because of this, I was able to source the ingredients from the same suppliers she uses. It’s a beautiful stew, with the heady aroma of the stock, wine, and herbs bringing out the best of all the other ingredients.
Rabbit and Horticultural Bean Stew
recipe from Tigers and Strawberries
3 tablespoons olive oil or bacon drippings
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks–white and light green bits only
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 pound boneless rabbit meat
1 tablespoon each fresh minced rosemary leaves, fresh thyme leaves and minced fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2-2 quarts of rabbit stock (or chicken stock, if you must–or water, if you haven’t anything else)
1 1/2 pounds freshly shelled horticultural beans
the meat from the rabbit stock, if you have any
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs–I used rosemary, thyme, sage and flat-leaf parsley–for garnish
Heat the oil or drippings in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium high heat.
Add the onions and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the onions turn golden. Add the leeks, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms, and cook, stirring until the onions are a deep golden brown and the other vegetables have been tinged with brown and everything is smelling wonderful.
Add the boneless rabbit meat, and cook, stirring, until it browns lightly.
Sprinkle in the first measures of fresh herbs and the Spanish paprika. Pour in the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pot, then allow the alcohol to simmer out of the wine.
Add the rabbit stock or whatever other liquid you are using, and stir in the beans. Add the meat from the rabbit stock, if you had any. Throw in the bay leaf.
Bring to a brisk simmer, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook until the beans and rabbit are both tender.
If the stew liquid isn’t thick enough to your taste, take out about a half cup of beans and mash them thoroughly. Stir them back into the stew and voila–instant thickener! No extra added fat or starch. Beans are like magic that way.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with the fresh herbs just before serving.