HOMESTEAD RECIPE: BRAISED RABBIT:

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Last night we decided to eat a truly gourmet dinner outside in the warm sunshine homestead style. On the menu was BRAISED RABBIT cooked in CAST IRON over an OPEN FIRE in our OUTDOOR COOK PIT. Not only was the meal absolutely delicious, the whole cooking process itself played a key role in our wonderful dining experience.

INGREDIENTS:

1. A large heavy duty pot with lid, cast iron dutch oven works well
2. 3 slices of bacon
3. Extra virgin olive oil
4. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5. 1 celery stalk, chopped
6. 2 cups of baby carrots
7. 8 baby red potatoes
8. 2 Tbs of chopped garlic
9. 1 rabbit, whole or cut up (also works with poultry)
10. 2-3 cups of chicken or veal stock
11. Fresh thyme and one bay leaf
12. Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Get your heat source, whether a campfire, fire pit, grill or fireplace, nice and hot.
2. Place the dutch oven directly over your heat either by laying directly on your grill grate or hang it by its handle over your fire.
3. After allowing the pot to heat up somewhat, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and the chopped bacon. Sauté for a few minutes until the bacon is starting to brown and throw off its fat.
4. Season the rabbit on all surfaces with salt and pepper. Add the rabbit and cook briefly on each side to brown all the surfaces. Remove to a plate and hold.
5. Add the onion, celery, potatoes, and garlic. Sauté until the onions soften and turn translucent but before they change color.
6. Add back the rabbit, along with any juices which have accumulated. Add the bay leaf and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
7. Pour over the stock just to partially cover the rabbit. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover.
8. Let sit to slowly braise. Occasionally check to stir and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a light boil. After a while, flip the rabbit.
9. Continue to braise until the meat is tender and starting to fall off the bone. This varies considerably depending on the heat of your fire, the type of meat and the size of the rabbit or poultry.
10. Remove from the heat and let rest a few minutes before serving. Be sure to spoon over some of the juices and vegetables on each plate.

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Hope you all enjoy this wonderful meal as much as we did, and as always, HAPPY HOMESTEADING!!!

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