Minnesota History Center cooking class goes wild with duck and rabbit
Last Sunday, the Minnesota History Center in partnership with Fabulous Catering and Gastro Non Grata, hosted a DIY wild game class. Just in time for hunting season, a group gathered at the Fab Cat compound in south Minneapolis to learn the ins-and-outs of preparing fresh game. The day started with a lesson in the history of hunting and fishing in Minnesota led by Mark Tipler of Tips Outdoor Foundation, an organization that introduces children and families to the outdoor experience.
Next, Brian Crouch, a chef at La Belle Vie, showed the group how to butcher and prep a fresh duck.
Crouch then demonstrated a pan-seared cooking technique that was finished in the oven. Pan searing uses very high heat to crisp the skin and seal in the juices, Crouch explained, leaving you with tender, medium-rare duck. He also stressed the importance of using all the parts of the bird--many of the scraps are perfect for preparing stock.
The group then moved to another Fab Cat kitchen to watch Mike DeCamp, chef de cuisine at La Belle Vie, break down a fresh rabbit. Saving the legs and flanks for stock, he rolled the seared rabbit loin in coppa (an Italian cured meat) and served it atop a Jerusalem artichoke puree. DeCamp mentioned that prosciutto or capacola are good substitutions for the coppa. DeCamp suggested rabbit as a substitute in any chicken recipe, although it requires adding fat, since rabbit is so lean, when browning or basting.
For those of you wanting to try a beginner's recipe for wild game at home, we will leave you with this recipe for rabbit stew.
Easy Rabbit Stew
1 frozen dressed rabbit
1 large onion, cut up
1-2 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, shopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1-2 carrots, cut up
3 Tbsp. catsup or tomato paste
cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup liquid (white wine, cider, tomato sauce or water)
1/2 cup vinegar, 2 Tbsp. salt, 2 cloves garlic--minced, and cold water to cover.
OR 1 cup dry vermouth, 1 bay leaf--crumbled, and 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice.
Defrost rabbit meat overnight in one of the marinades above. Brown rabbit with vegetables in hot skillet for 5-10 minutes. Place rabbit and other ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Serves 4-6.
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