Rabbit Stew from Heritage by Sean Brock

I first heard about Sean Brock five years ago when I first watched his season of Mind of a Chef. I admire his dedication to reviving heirloom ingredients and techniques, which is probably his defining characteristic as a chef and restaurateur. I still haven’t had a full meal at his flagship Husk in Charleston, only drinks and appetizers at the bar. I’ll get there soon!

I picked up Brock’s Heritage shortly after it came out and have only cooked a few things from it because I can’t reliably source most of the heirloom ingredients he uses in most of his recipes. The ones I can get ingredients for are wonderful, and I love flipping through this book to look at the gorgeous photos and read Brock’s commentary and farmer profiles between the sections.

When I discovered that I could get high quality local whole rabbits from Campbell Meats in Dobbs Ferry, I decided to make Brock’s Rabbit Stew with Black Pepper Dumplings when our dear friend Kat came to visit.

You should definitely plan to make this on weekend, not a Thursday night like I did. It isn’t particularly difficult, but it is time consuming for one person to make the stew: Boiling for an hour and a half, pulling and shredding the meat, making the roux, chopping and adding the veggies, then putting it all back together. Next time I’ll make the stew a day or two ahead of time and reheat it while we make the dumplings.

I put Kat to work helping make the dumplings. I’m a big fan of giving guests a job so they don’t feel like they have to just sit there and twiddle their thumbs. It also gives you more time to talk and catch up. You get help and they feel invested in the final outcome. Win/win.

This recipe alone warrants buying this book. It is fantastic. Perfect for a chilly evening and good friends. Everyone ate multiple helpings and Amanda and I both took it for lunch later in the week.

I’m glad I picked up this book again. While I can’t make most of the main dishes out of it, I certainly can make some of the sides, condiments, and pickles Husk uses to accent their main dishes. I also missed the drinks and bitters section the first time around, which I’m keen to dive in to. Did you know that the Queen Anne’s Lace flower is a wild carrot? By the time the flowers come out, the carrot is bitter enough to make a tincture with.

That is exactly why I’m doing this Cooking the Books challenge – Revisiting old things that I missed and getting more out of them. More to come soon.

Whole 30 Week 2 Recap

Week two is in the books. Here is how it went.

Successes this week

  • I’ve been waking up easier this week. I’ve been wide awake and ready to work at 8am, even on the weekends. This is not the norm because I usually burn the midnight oil.
  • Our pants are a little looser
  • We are getting in the rhythm of cooking Whole 30 compliant meals.
  • Two weeks have gone by quickly.
  • I’m still foregoing kefir, so I’ve actually been 100% compliant on what I’ve eaten.
  • I drank more water this week. Grains soak up a lot of water and disperse it throughout digestion, so I was dehydrated last week when I didn’t have any grains. This week I compensated by purposefully drinking more water.
  • I made some almond butter with my food processor! 50% raw, 50% roasted almonds
  • I’m really good at whipping out a tasty guacamole with the huge mortar & pestle we have.
  • Even though we had to pass up the Royal Kirs, we still brunched with Whole 30 compliant food.

Difficulties this week

  • Work is ramping up for both of us and we have a lot of extracurriculars going on. Twice this week we ate leftovers for dinner that we reserved for other lunches because we had too much going on too cook. Thankfully we have decent Whole 30 lunch options near where we work.
  • Today is Valentine’s Day. We both LOVE chocolate, pizza, fresh bread with cheese and charcuterie, and booze.
  • The pear brandy that I’m aging with toasted oak is really starting to open up and smell incredible. I really want to try it.
  • I’ve not been eating as much as I should due to my fasting. Compressing all the calories I need into 6-8 hours is tough. I’ve lessened by fasting restrictions when I need to, but it is still difficult. I’m making up for it with eating lots of fat.
  • I checked the ENTIRE grocery store. Only 1 out of the 13 varieties of bacon does not have sugar in it. (Pro-tip: It is the Smithfield Low Sodium variety. Just add salt and you’ll be fine. I bought 3 pounds.)
  • I haven’t yet figured out how to keep beef from overcooking in stews and soups, so we ate beef vegetable soup with dry, overcooked beef. If you have suggestions, hit me up.

Meals this week

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
8 Chuck: Black coffee and 6 slices of Speck. Amanda: Smoothie with almond milk yogurt, avocado, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, kale, and MCT oil Chuck: leftover carnitas. Amanda: Gigantic kale salad with veggies and steak Takeout: Chicken breasts, eggplant, zucchini, and spinach
9 Chuck: Scotch Egg & Coffee. Amanda: Apples, pears, oranges, and speck Homemade beef vegetable soup
10 Chuck: Scotch Egg. Amanda: Smoothie with almond milk yogurt, avocado, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, kale, and MCT oil Leftover beef vegetable soup Skirt steak lettuce wraps and home guacamole
11 None Frittata with broccoli, sausage, peppers, and onions Apples, pears, almond butter, and jamon serrano
12 None Brunch bowls with crispy sweet potatoes and onions, avocado, scrambled eggs, and bacon Cauliflower Fried Rice with okra, chicken, bacon, carrots, celery, onions, and cress sprouts
13 Chuck: Black Coffee. Amanda: Smoothie with almond milk yogurt, avocado, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, kale, and MCT oil Leftover cauliflower fried rice Sous vide pork, roasted brussels sprouts, and roasted yellow squash
14 Chuck: Black Coffee. Amanda: Smoothie. Chuck: leftover frittata. Amanda: Salad. Leftover sous vide pork and roasted yellow squash

 

Photos

Again, I didn’t photograph everything. Here is a good mix of what we ate, though.