Marcelle Bienvenu is one of my favorite Louisiana chefs. She wrote one of my favorite cookbooks before being a chef was cool: Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic, And Can You Make a Roux? I love that cookbook… And the title!
Anyway, just the other day a farmer-friend of mine gave me a couple of rabbits. They were already butchered, and they were frozen. There wasn’t much room left in my freezer when I got home, so I decided that we would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with rabbit. And, since it’s unheard of to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without beer, I decided that I would prepare the rabbit with beer. But how?
First Time Cooking Rabbit
I admit it. This was my first time cooking rabbit. I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve eaten rabbit before, and I enjoyed it. But I had never cooked it before. So, I did what I always do when I feel totally inadequate in the kitchen… I grabbed a stack of my favorite cookbooks and started searching for a recipe or two that I could make my own.
In Cooking Louisiana True I came across a recipe by Marcelle Bienvenu for Beer-Braised Rabbit. It looked like a winner to me… except I wanted to give it more of an Irish flare. Below is the recipe I came up with. It is based on the recipe by Marcelle in Cooking Louisiana True.
- 5 to 6 lbs of rabbit (cut into serving pieces)
- 4 yellow onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Freshly-cracked black pepper (to taste)
- Cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 2 to 3 tbl Butter
- 3 tbl olive oil
- 2 tbl all-pupose flour (we like King Arthur)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (12 oz) bottle of Guinness beer
- Season the rabbit with the salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy pot or dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. (I use a large All-Clad pot.) Brown the rabbit on all sides. Once browned, remove the rabbit from pot and store on large platter.
- Add the onions, carrots, garlic, green onions, and bay leaf to the pot. Cover and cook (stirring occasionally) until veggies are translucent (about 10 to 12 minutes).
- Once veggies are translucent, add the flour to the pot and mix well to make a blonde roux. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, then add the chicken stock and the Guinness.
- Return the rabbit to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Remove the rabbit from the pot and store in foil to keep warm. Then strain the liquid from the pot through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve as much of the liquid as you can, and return it to the pot.
- Over medium-high heat, cook down the liquid until it yields about two cups.
- Return the rabbit to the pot. Once the rabbit has warmed up, it is ready to be served. It goes wonderfully with a rice dish or with parsley potatoes.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!
Leave a comment in the comments below!