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~

12 comments:

  1. Yum, looks good enough to eat. Better than my grilled cheese sandwich tonight.

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    1. I would agree that Hopper Stew tops grilled cheese, @ the 4Shoes anyways!

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  2. It all looks good -makes me very hungry already this morning. I think though I'll stick with chicken being the city girl I am. I married to a country boy so I have had rabbit before. Tastes like chicken. I imagine with this recipe it would taste soo good!

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    1. Absolutely Vickie - in fact, any dish I have ever made with chicken is also a good recipe for Hopper (by reducing the cook time)!

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  3. Looks pretty good and I'm not even a soup fan although I do love buscuits :) Do you like your parsley frozen better than dried? I've never frozen it just curious.

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    1. I pull it out of the garden & freeze it, then I chop it up frozen & throw it in whatever I'm making. I'd rather freeze what I already have than buy it in the grocery store.

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    2. I'm gonna try it this year, we always hung ours to dry but this sounds much quicker, thanks

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  4. Hi Mrs. Shoes, I've never eaten rabbit but I remember my Grandmother talking about fixing it! Love Cheddar biscuits! You have an interesting website! Blessings, Janet (www.silverfoodie.com)

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    1. Thank you Janet, glad you stopped by; & if you get a chance to eat some rabbit, give it a try!

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  5. Looks yummy! I've made baked rabbit with creamy sauce before but never a hopper stew. I served it for Easter one year when my daughter was little, and she cried so hard I told her I was joking and it was a chicken (with really big ears, LOL). The following year I told her Easter was canceled because we ate the Easter bunny last year. I know, I'm a terrible mother. I'm trying to be a better grandmother though and haven't told my granddaughter who adores horses that I've eaten a horse roast before, ha!
    Love the home-rendered pork lard, have you ever fried eggs using lard? Amazing!:)

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    1. Hahaha, reminds me of when (as a kid) the family ate a rabbit that had scampered through a hole he shouldn't have & tore himself open. It wasn't funny that we ate the rabbit who wasn't intended for the table, just life as it happens sometimes, but what was funny was the look on my cousin's face as he figured out none of the chickens were missing. We grow up quick on the farm sometimes.
      I respect anybody's food choices (I won't force or fool anyone into eating anything they don't want and I wouldn't waste a good rabbit on anyone who didn't want to try it); having been a cowgirl all my days, I draw my own personal line at eating horse. Or dog - I really don't want to eat a dog. But I'd try squirrel or beaver or bear...
      I do love the versatility of lard, but I must admit that I prefer my eggs cooked in butter.

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  6. Mrs Shoes, I love horses. Don't have any in my life, but I've always appreciated them. I look forward to learning more about them here! And, yes, you must remove rings before making biscuits (don't ask me how I know!).

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