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Pairing Beer and Wild Game Recipes

Photos by Iain Harrison and Dave Merrill

Historically, in America at least, rabbits have been considered “poor people’s food.” And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when you ponder the fact that dishes from the least affluent segment of the population often become symbols of a national culture. My great-grandfather kept his family fed through the Great Depression with a steady diet of squirrel, rabbit, and (poached) deer.

If you fry it or slather it in barbecue, even the least desirable of animals can usually be made palatable. But screw that, we want to taste what we eat, not mask it. To that end, this dish is best paired with a nice American Pale ale or similar. In this case, a Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Clear Sky cream ale. This craft brew isn’t filled to the brim with hops, which is annoyingly rare these days.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

For the most authentic feel, this should be cooked in a cast iron dutch oven, but this author opted for a deep nonstick pan with a lid. We know, hang him from the rafters. Preheat your cooking receptacle of choice on medium-high with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Give your rabbit a generous dose of salt and pepper.

Once the pan is fully heated, brown the quartered rabbit on each side. The real trick is to brown but not burn. When well browned, remove and set aside on a plate.

Toss the onion into the pan, scraping the bottom and stirring occasionally until it begins to caramelize. This will take 10 to 15 minutes to do properly. And if you scorch it, it’ll be terrible.

wolf's ridge cream ale rabbit recipe

Add the garlic, browned rabbit, and white wine vinegar back into the pan. Be sure to add any liquid that released from the rabbit while it was set aside. Add water to the pan until the rabbit is half-covered — we’re braising, not boiling. Cover and place in the oven until fork-tender, approximately two hours.

If you can’t figure out how to assemble the salad, we can’t help you here.

When the rabbit is fully cooked and tender, remove from the oven, set aside the meat, and cover. While the meat is resting, start steaming your sweet peas. Break out your food processor and add the salt, peeled shallot, lemon juice, and sour cream. Pulse until you reach your desired texture — don’t do it too much or it’ll look like baby food like the example pictured below.

For bonus points, reduce the remaining liquid for a sauce. Top the entire dish with fresh cracked black pepper.

Got a wild game recipe you’d like to share? Please send it, along with some well-lit, high-resolution photos to [email protected]astnetwork.com, along with your name, the name of the dish, ingredients, and directions on how to cook it. By sending in submissions, you grant TEN: The Enthusiast Network the unrestricted, transferable and sub-licensable, irrevocable, royalty-free, world-wide, and perpetual license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display, make derivative works of, and otherwise use the submissions in any media whatsoever now known or later invented throughout the world for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or not.

tank 7 farmhouse ale

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