4Shoes 'BOOKENDS'; Morgan Horses

4Shoes 'BOOKENDS'; Morgan Horses
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” ~Langston Hughes *pictured: '4Shoes Bookends'

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Stewed Hopper & Biscuits

Start off with 2 rabbit* ribcage sections & 2 cups of (the very cheapest white wine) + 1 cup chicken, vegetable, or pork stock, salt & pepper, a bay leaf, & 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. Cover pan & simmer 30 minutes or until meat is very tender.
substitute chicken for the squeamish (chicken may require 15 minutes addition cook time to be as tender as rabbit.)
The meat should be tender, but not falling from the bones. Cool the meat before handling.
With your hands, strip all the meat from the bones & set aside (obviously, you can discard the bones). Reserve the stock at this point.
Rough chop a selection of vegetables; if adding a strong flavour (such as turnip), err on the side of less is more.

Heat your choice of shortening in which to saute your veg; I used lard just because I have it on hand. 

Saute your veg lightly... til about 1/2 done.

Add the rabbit meat to the pan & mix together.

Make a slurry of 1/4 cup of cold stock (that you had set aside) with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch & stir until there are no lumps. Add the slurry mix & the rest of the stock to your meat & veg.

If you have it, add in a tablespoon or 2 of bone jelly for extra flavour; I used pork jelly* because I have it from recently cooking down bones. Cook over medium heat, stirring 2 or 3 times, until liquid has tightened up to a little bit thicker than sauce, but not quite gravy (the gravy will continue to thicken in the oven). *Bone jelly does 2 things: it helps the sauce thicken, & it adds a richness of flavour. Whether you have bone jelly or not, TASTE your food & add more seasoning accordingly. Be brave! If you think a bit of grainy mustard would be the 'zing' your family likes, add some to YOUR stew!

Pour the pan of meat, veg, & sauce into a 9x11 baking dish.

Cover with foil & bake @ 350* for 30 minutes.
Before you start the biscuits, remember to take off your rings!!
Don't ask me how I know this...
Into a deep bowl put 2 cups of flour + 1 teaspoon of salt + 1 tablespoon of baking powder & stir together well. Add 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese.
I also added 1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley (frozen from last years' garden) & mixed together til crumbly. Add 3/4 cup milk & stir until biscuit dough just comes together; overworking the dough will make tough biscuits. Drop dough free form on parchment & bake @ 400* for 12 minutes. 

Serve Hooper Stew alongside warm cheesy biscuits! Hopper Stew freezes well & can be thawed on the counter top on a busy day, then topped with a crust of your choice & baked up as a fresh Hopper Pot Pie.

Whether you try this recipe with rabbit or with chicken, I would really, truly love to hear what other spices you added, or how you did something differently, that made your version impress your family. I am always in favour of trying something new & of using what you have to hand.
Happy Cooking!

~Simple Saturdays bloghop~

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Sweet Valentine

On this day set aside for Lovers, Mr Shoes & I joyfully celebrate the 29th time that we choose each other as Valentines, & look forward to another 29. Here's hoping You have someone Special who makes your heart beat faster!