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Eric's proven recipe for any small critter. That will work for rabbit, chicken or whatever.
Recipes born of necessities
Today we have Supermarkets, not always
I am going to write of this recipe and I want to make clear that it is my mom’s but I think she may have gotten a bunch of it from somewhere else. My mother would curl up with a cookbook like I do a brand new spy novel. Don’t get me wrong I love working out a perfect food, and my mom knew a spy in Berlin and one in Turkey. I never thought about it, maybe they were culinary spies. I suppose some folks go around stealing recipes. What a horrible thing to do. Not just because you stole it but because you are so sad of a cook that you have to steal. (if you could not tell this article takes a whole lot of liberty with truth and could be considered at least partly fiction)
This recipe is dedicated to Don Bobbit of these here hubpages and my mom of course. Don because I may have sandbagged him on a recipe to Armadillo and my mom because – you will see.
I grew up in the happiest household that ever did exist. I am youngest of six, all within 8 years of each other. Even at six foot I am not the tallest boy or girl in my family. I have three older sisters that mostly are all bigger in one way or another than me. Needless to say between my bro who is about 6’7” and my eldest that folks called the wedge, I was kinda the runt. About the time I hit 8 food was an issue. Just circumstances, maybe some tough times but mainly it is real tough to feed 8 pubescent mouths. We were all growing like weeds. Now we lived in the canyon country above Sedona Az., and the Mountain country of Flagstaff (not hill country – the town is at 7,000 ft. elevation and the mountain over 13K.) When I was born the big city of Flag had about 12k, residents including college students.
Mom said, "recipes are not God's law" she also let me sit on a little step stool and watch her cook. She was a goddess so they were God's law.
About now you are asking yourself what does this article have to do a recipe for small running critters?
Ya see we had to eat. The most expensive food was the meat. My brothers or sisters and I never really got into killing wild natural animals. We tracked for others and we all had a go at it, but no thanks. So what was so darn cool was my mother. She taught herself to cook wild game so well that hunters would provide plenty of meat if they could come over to sit at our table and eat mother’s masterpieces. Oh yeah my mom was a real good hostess and she had run an antique store so hard starched linens, real polished silverware and folded fleur de le napkins complimented the ironstone and candelabras.
I suppose in my old west each was good at something and we worked together to make sure we were all doing good.
Now about this recipe it will work for most any quickly cooked small animal and I think mom used it as a base for any she was unsure of how to cook. Let us use rabbit as for some reason that seems the most palatable to city folk. (this will work for armadillo, Javalina, squirrel, Raccoon, possum and for sure Jackelope)
This will work for about 4-5 pounds of meat obviously half if you are on some kind of diet or don’t have friends.
Look what I had to compete against. Are we happy or what?
Pay attention to what you are doing. You should be having the livers ready to puree and ad to a sauce. You have your meat cooking in the same marinade it sat in
Now this is the stuff you need – do not get carried away just get them ready. Now I left out the ingredient of a dose of smiles and a whole lot of love -- but that is up to you.
1 ½ tease spoon of something like thyme – don’t stray too far but there are other things you can use here (I am not saying but some hippies use something else right here)
Teaspoon of pepper and one of salt
3 tablespoons of butter – that is a joke I think, mom never used that little butter, I would double that
5 cups of red wine – really? I think I would push that to at least ,,, well whatever you have left after reading this.
2 Tart and green and all chopped up Apples. In these old recipes I leave out the peeling,,, carrots and apples and potatoes have a ton of good in the peels.
1 tablespoon of gravy is recommended. Along with 2 cups of beef broth. Now that is right because you are trying to get rid of the “gamey” taste. Me I like the taste unless there is a reason to worry about rutting type timing then more gravy. So understand this is for a gravy type sauce you will be making with the livers. While it is sophisticated I have doubts about combining livers with meat.
Mix up some cornstarch kind of pre blended with some water. But not much more than a tablespoon of more unless you really like the thickening nature of the stuff. Keep these morsels separate for now.
Vinegar and 2 fresh squozed lemons, make that red wine vinegar (got a problem with the word squozed?)
Get ready 4 or 5 chopped shallots –More than called for but, how could that hurt.
2 juicy red onions and one good looking bay leaf, peel these and slice thinly into rings to use as a kind of bottom to a large shallow bowl. You get the picture, line the bottom with the onions. Just toss in the bay leaf.
OK Coolio, now take the: Wine, vinegar, Lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper, mix it all up and pour it on your meat that you have just put on top of your thyme and onion bed. Kind of slosh it around. Make sure it is all covered. And refrigerate for over 24 hours.*
Pour to the side and capture that marinade.
1. I have already gotten rid of the livers (that is just me I separate them for cooking) but if you leave them in and are all ready just chop them up like you would chicken livers and sautee them. You will do this with the remaining onion and about 2 tablespoons of your butter, once they are lightly browned toss in your chopped apple. Sautee it up to your liking.
On the side melt up your remaining butter in a large frying pan. You really need something more like a dutch oven pan. Brown the meat, in this case on a lower temp because they need to be in there awhile.
Now just toss in what you have left, (accept for livers and starch and gravy) stir it around and let it simmer with a cover. Do this for about 45 minutes or more. While you are letting that be done blend up your livers and starch and gravy. Just puree them. Heat them up on a skillet making them just another gravy and then poor over the meat and keep simmering for ten minutes, now you can feed ten or so and everyone gets their fill.
A fire in the fireplace, a local professor, the hunter, and a small town doc. In this home we were taught by the hearth of the fireplace.
If you just cook the meal and avoid the beauty of the bounty, which are friends and neighbors you cannot capture the flavor of the spice.
I use a camp cooking method and let it set out warm for several hours in the sun. – then follow the same instructions. When your camp cooking you have just killed the beast, you are going to cook and eat it right away, and you already know you have to cook it well done before eating. So the warm marinade I borrowed from my Puebla Mexico friends is what I like, besides you don’t have refrigeration in the middle of Death or Mohave deserts. (kind of silly to have all those ingredients but that is how I run my rig)
Now back to mom. Moms are awesome. I have never been so in love with my wife as when she is being mom to my child. Moms are insane the lengths they go to, to provide and love their children. There are some things shrinks would look at and say tsk tsk about how my mom raised us children. But I can promise all of you, this recipe is not one of them. Working a full time job, raising us 6 kids and making time to make sure we ate, not only great but in style and together. Thanks mom.
Do you ever cook outside other than a grill in your back yard
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Do not steal recipes or writings.
This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.
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OK I admit it, I need more publicity. If you steal this content please let me know so I can make a big deal out of it and get some press time.