(courtesy of Barb Giacomini, chef/owner of Daughters Café in Reno. Serves 6)
This recipe was inspired by memorable winter meals on a fabulous trip to France.
2 rabbits (whole or in pieces)
1 stick butter
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups beef broth
4 cups white wine (Riesling, if you have it)
1 pound bacon
2 yellow onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cups cream
Box quick polenta
Melt butter and make a roux with flour, salt, and pepper. Stir in the broth and wine.
Add the rabbit to the broth. Add broth and wine to cover rabbit, if necessary.
Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Slowly simmer for one hour, or until meat is falling from bone.
Remove meat to a cutting board and cool; debone and shred (or chop). Add meat back into the stewpot.
Chop the bacon into small bits and brown well (dark and crispy) in a large frying pan. Add the onions and sauté until golden. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté until tender, about five minutes.
Add this mixture to the stewpot (use a rubber spatula to get all of the good stuff out of the pan) and slowly simmer for another 20 minutes.
Follow the polenta directions, but use half milk and half water. Add a handful of grated Parmesan per serving to the polenta when it is finished but still hot.
To serve, fill half of a shallow bowl with polenta and ladle rabbit stew over it to fill the bowl.