Thursday, June 29, 2017

Guisado de Conejo y Leche de Coco

     Colombian Coconut Milk Rabbit Stew!
     Guisado de Conejo y Leche de Coco is one of the best tasting rabbit stews that there is!  The flavor of this light stew is phenomenally good and it can be served any season.  Like most Colombian stews, the list of ingredients is simple and the featured flavor is not muddled with additional items of personal taste.  
     Light savory stews are popular in Colombia and Central America, especially during the summer season.  Serving a stew during the hot summer season contradicts European culinary philosophy, but there is a trick to the tale.  When performing strenuous physical activity in a hot humid tropical climate, nutrients in the body are thoroughly depleted and energy levels plummet.  A stew provides plenty of efficient nutrient uptake, which quickly revitalizes the body and mind.  Eating hot food in a hot climate also causes light perspiration, which in turn creates a cooling sensation.
     Colombian food tends to be savory and if chile peppers are added, then they are only used like a spice.  Only a small amount of spicy hot Chile Pequin is needed for today's rabbit stew.  Coconut milk contains plenty of oil fat, which carries the capsicum oil, so it is best to add a sparing amount of Chile Pequin even if one is used to extra spicy hot food.  
     Rabbit is a healthy meat option that is nearly fat free.  Rabbit has a light flavor that tastes like chicken, but the meat is much cleaner tasting.  Because rabbit meat is so lean, it can be notoriously tough if it is not marinated or slowly simmered with acidic ingredients for a long period of time.  The rabbit simmers for more than 2 hours in today's recipe, so when the stew is finished, the rabbit meat is ready to start falling off of the bones.

     Rabbit Fabrication For Stew:
     This recipe yields 1 prepared rabbit.
     Whole rabbit is available at most butcher shops.  A butcher can fabricate a rabbit for stewing upon request, but Rabbit fabrication is as easy as quartering a chicken.  
     Step 1:  Select 1 whole rabbit that weighs about 2 1/2 pounds.
     Cut all 4 legs off at the joints.
     Step 2:  Clip the ends of the rear legs and press the meat down the bone, so the exposed bone is bare.  (Frenching the bone.)
     Set the leg pieces in a container.
     Step 3:  Trim off the tail of the back section.
     Cut the two back strap tenderloin pieces off of the lower back.
     Trim any useable meat pieces off of the carcass.
     Add the back straps and meat pieces to the legs in the container.
     Chill till the rabbit stewing pieces are needed.
     Step 4:  Save the carcass and bones for making broth or white stock for another recipe.

     Guisado de Conejo y Leche de Coco:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
     Add the rabbit legs, back straps and meat pieces.
     Sauté till the rabbit pieces are lightly browned.
     Step 2:  Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1/3 cup of chopped onion.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped yellow bell pepper.
     Sauté till the peppers start to become tender.
     Step 4:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Use a slotted spoon to transfer the ingredients from the sauté pan to a sauce pot.
     Step 5:  Drain off any excess oil from the sauté pan.
     Add 1 cup of water to the sauté pan.
     Deglaze the pan.
     Add the jus to the ingredients in the sauce pot.
     Step 6:  Add 1 cup of light vegetable broth to the sauce pot.
     Add 1 cup of light chicken broth.
     Add enough water to cover the ingredients in the pot with 2" extra liquid.
     Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 2 whole dried Pequin Chile Peppers.
     Add 1/2 cup of thin tomato wedges.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 pinch of cumin.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 8:  Gently simmer till the rabbit meat is tender and do not stir the stew.  (About 2 hours.)
     Allow the stewing broth to reduce to about 1 1/2  to 2 cups in volume.
     Step 9:  Remove the bay leaf from the stewing sauce.
     Raise the temperature up to medium heat.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till about 3/4 cup of liquid remains.
     Step 10:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is thin consistency.  (The finished volume should be less than 1 cup.)
     Step 11:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Arrange the rabbit pieces on the center of a shallow plate.
     Pour the coconut milk stewing sauce and vegetables over the rabbit and onto the plate.
     Step 12:  Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with a bowl of white rice and bread on the side.

     This is a great tasting Colombian rabbit stew for summer!

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