100 Ways to Cook a Rabbit – Recipe No. 26

First you need to get yourself a wild rabbit. The only way I know of is to go for the hunt. The mountains around Tartous are filled with, among other creatures, wild rabbits and hares. We usually hunt them at night, preferably moonless nights. Four to five people go for the ride on the back dirt roads in a 4-wheel drive pickup truck. There will be the driver and a passenger to keep him company (so that the driver doesn’t fall asleep). The other two or three will ride in the back. The light bearer illuminates the sides of the roads with precise sweeping motions to detect and point to the game. The other(s) handle the shotgun(s) and the shooting.

On a good summer night, a dozen or so rabbits could be bagged before daybreak. However, good hunters will always kill just enough to eat and not more.

Be that as it may, here goes the 26th method of cooking a wild rabbit. It’s called “Lapin à l’Abufares avec Burghul”, after a great Tartoussi Chef by that name. (Please close your lips together in a kissing manner when you pronounce l’Abufares to sound French)

4 to 6 Servings (usually the same people mentioned above)

-Shoot the rabbit, skin it, clean it and bring it home. (Please don’t bring in the head! Coyotes need something to munch on)
-Freeze the beast for at least 24 hours. (It’s normal procedures to freeze wild game, with the exception of small birds, before cooking and eating. At least that’s the practice here)
-Take out of freezer; let it thaw at room temperature until tender.
-Marinate the rabbit in one bottle of red wine for 4-6 hours with salt and all kinds of spices (black pepper, red pepper, white pepper, paprika, cinnamon, and a dash of cardamon) and place it in the fridge.
-Remove from wine, cut into 6 to 8 pieces and fry for 10 minutes in plenty of butter with onions and garlic.
-Place in a pot and add the wine then water as needed. Simmer, bring to a boil then cover for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally. I add Tabasco at this stage, but it’s entirely up to you.
-Add potatoes cut into pieces the size of golf balls, cover again and continue boiling over low heat for an additional 30-45 minutes.
-Prepare a plate of coarse Burghul (cracked wheat: which is prepared exactly as a plate of rice with the same kind of spices and seasoning), or instead of burghul, prepare a plate of rice as per your own recipe.
I personally use many types of seasoning for burghul and rice. Use your imagination. As a suggestion, I would add salt, black pepper, cinnamon and paprika.
-When the burghul or rice is ready to be served, place it in a separate dish and pour some virgin olive oil over it (burghul only).
-The two dishes are presented together and each serving consists of a plate of rabbit with burghul or rice on the side.
Sit down enjoy your Lapin à l’Abufares with your favorite wine or a glass of Arak.

Please if you have another recipe for rabbit, let me hear it. If you try my recipe, let me know how it comes out. Pictures will be greatly appreciated. As you can see from the attached picture I was so hungry I started eating before I had the good sense to bring out my camera. So do excuse me because the plates don’t look exactly as coming out of a gourmet magazine.


Karin said…
Recipe No.26, hm? You crack me up ... !
"Lapin à l’Abufares" ... WOW, that name alone is enough to get the juices running and even the best educated gentleman to drool ...

Well - to start with, I like wwwabbits! I haven't tasted many - but the few examples have been delicious! I never tried a recipe even close to yours .. that will be the next!

Hunt? Not a chance! I'll get one at a supermarket or mall .. which deducts the first three steps of preparation but cheats me of the nightly 4X4 pick-up adventure! (I LOVE adventures!)

You're a real animal-lover ... you even think to pamper the coyoties - how considerate you are ;)!!

The rest of the preparation-procedure is clear to me EXCEPT .. once you place it in the pot - how much water do you add? Cover it?

Burghul with PAPRIKA and CINNAMON?? That's new to me ... I didn't know that goes together! Will be tested, pictured - and reported!

Thanks a million for the recipe which made me drool now already - it is HIGHLY appreciated!!
Abufares said…
I'm a very 'seat-of-the-pants" kind of cook. I would say that I add enough water to compensate for the evaporation (probably a couple of cups or even a little less). Try it with this much water first, when it's time to add the potatoes if you think you need more water then do so, if not, voila you're on the right track.
I love the taste of cinammon in cooking and I virtually include it in all of my recipes.
Please take a picture of the wabbit, OK!
Always a pleasure hearing from you.
Anonymous said…
we cook it in vinegar instead of wine and only onions without potatoes. it tastes very good.
yours sounds delicious but i don't drink wine.
Abufares said…
Hi Anonymous
Rabbit in Vinegar is similar to Meat In Vinegar (we call it La7me B-Khal). I think it's a common way of cooking in Syria but is mainly due to wrong information.
I think that wine is a much better cooking medium than vinegar. By the way, both have alcohol. If you can drink a bottle of vinegar and not get very sick first, you will get drunk.
Alcohol evaporates at 80 degrees. Boiling at 100% will not leave any trace of alcohol at all in the food.
To get a buzz, you need to drink separately.
Thanx for dropping by
Shannon said…
I've never had rabbit before, but this sounds amazing. Thankfully, I read it after lunch.
Ascribo said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ascribo said…
What a mouth-watering Recipe!

I have never tried Rabbit this way. I tried it (about 17 years ago) with tomatoe sauce. It was amazing, and I really wanna taste it your way! and I WONDER about the other 25, or more, recipes!

Hunting Adventures! WoW! I love it. Once I was in the mountains and a LARGE wild rabbit jumped right in front of me. It wasn't night, and I wasn't able to shoot it...

I think going hunting with you would be a very special experience, apart from the taste of rabbits!

I wanna try it!
Abufares said…
Hi Shannon
Glad you were here.
Back in Louisiana, I had "rabbit" in almost all of the other 99 ways.
You should give it a try when you get a chance.
Abufares said…
Hey Ascribo the Tartoussi
Hope you're doing well in Oxford.
When you come back, I'll prepare this world-renowned dish and invite you to Saeen so you can enjoy it with the guys.

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