THE rabbit infestation of Robben Island in Table Bay has brought splendid culinary experiences to the Bruwer table of late. I was invited to a culling session of these bunnies last week, and I can report that these are some of the finest specimens outside of Hugh Hefner’s palace.
Upon landing on the island, I noticed the extreme liveliness of these Robben Island rabbits. They energetically pounced across the hallowed soils instead of wobbling over looking for a freebie carrot. These were the wild, real things, and shooting them with a double-gauge shotgun was splendid fun and challenging.
I think I missed three.
In any event, upon returning home with five unwanted Robben Island rabbits, I began to prepare these animals in the way the rural Spaniards do.
First, I gutted and skinned the things, which is really simple as the skin pulls off rather easily. I chopped up the heads to feed to the pit-bulls and immediately sprinkled the pale flesh with sherry vinegar to draw-out any excessive gaminess.
It is important to inspect the flesh of the rabbits for bits of lead. For when hunting bunnies, you use ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ as mentioned ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ a shot-gun. This is the best way of ensuring you hit them on their cute little terrified hops for cover.
However, having blasted a bunny into the afterlife, you have to check the meat for any of the shot-gun pellets that contributed to ending the rabbits’ brief ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ but highly productive ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ existence. Finger the flesh for any pellets, removing them.
Rabbit meat does not require hanging like other venison as the blood content is low. And anyway, after receiving two blasts of 12 gauge, there ain’t going to be much blood left anyway.
Take a deep pan, pour in a glug of olive oil and fry-up two cloves of garlic. Cut the rabbit into four pieces, season with salt and pepper, and brown. Once brown, pour two cups of earthy red wine into the pan. Rioja is just fine, but ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ën Pinotage will do. Add a green pepper which has been de-seeded and chopped into the mix, as well as half a can of Italian tomatoes. One chicken stock cube will not do any harm.
Cover the pan and let it cook for 40 minutes. Now take the cover off and add a table-spoon of cr?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ëme fraiche and a spoon of butter mixed with a teaspoon of flour. Cook until the sauce looks velvety.
Serve with crusty white bread and a glass of Pinot Noir.
What makes these Robben Island bunnies exceptional is the Island’s lime content. (Check out the picture of Nelson Mandela working the limestone quarry in cool shades to underscore this fact.) Limestone gives good flesh, as it makes for strong bones that exude tasty juices into the meat once cooking starts.
Forget hugging ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ shoot a bunny and live.
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