Posts Tagged ‘rabbit’
1 rabbit, boiled
yolks of six eggs, hard boiled
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. prepared mustard
4 tbs. oil, olive or vegetable
Bread and butter, crackers, grated cheese
Having a fine young rabbit boiled very tender, mince it fine from the bones. Mince an equal portion of lettuce, which should be of the loaf lettuce, that heads up, and is quite white and frangible [breakable]; mix them together, and set them by till the dressing is prepared. Mash very fine the yolks of six boiled eggs, add to it a tea-spoonful of salt, a tea-spoonful of pepper, half a gill of vinegar, half a gill of made mustard, and four table-spoonfuls of sweet oil. Mash and stir it together till it becomes very smooth; then put it over the rabbit and lettuce, stir it up lightly together with a fork, put it in a dish of suitable size, and send with it to table plates of bread and butter, crackers, grated cheese, &c. It is a supper dish, and seldom eaten at any other meal. Do not prepare it till just before you sit down to table, that it may be as fresh as possible. Rabbits make a very good pie, prepared like a chicken pie.
The Kentucky Housewife by Mrs. Lettice Bryan, 1839
Comment: A 17th century cookbook was recently reprinted under the modern-day title “First Catch Your Rabbit.” While Mrs. Bryan’s book was intended for a market-shopping urban audience rather than live-off-the-land backwoodsmen, rabbits were a common nuisance and a threat to gardens everywhere. This is a very elegant dish and could certainly be made with chicken or veal as an alternative if rabbits are uncommon in your apartment building, or the neighbors frown on backyard game hunting.
1 or more rabbits, whole; liver reserved but head removed before serving
Truss your rabbits short, lay them in a basin or warm water for ten minutes, then put them into plenty of water, and boil them about half an hour; if large ones, three quarters; if very old, an hour. Mince the liver and lay it round the dish, or make liver sauce and send it up in a boat.
N.B. It will save much trouble to the carver, if the rabbits be cut up in the kitchen into pieces fit to help at table, and the head divided, one half land at each end, and slices of lemon and the liver, chopped very finely, laid on the sides of the dish.
At all events, cut off the head before you send it to table, we hardly remember that the thing ever lived if we don’t see the head, while it may excite ugly ideas to see it cut up in an attitude imitative of life; besides, for the preservation of the head, the poor animal sometimes suffers a slower death.
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: This really tells us more (and more than we want to know) about rabbit-raising and -butchering customs of the early 19th century than it does about the cooking procedures for same. To “truss your rabbits short” meant to tie them with legs together or in a folded position, making it easier for them to fit into a pot on the stove. If being trussed for roasting or broiling the legs would be extended so as to go on a spit before the fire.