Rabbit on Mushrooms (Králik na Šampiňónoch)

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Guys, listen up. Want to blow away your girlfriend? Here is a recipe for a great dish that will definitely impress your date. It’s for rabbit on mushrooms, králik na šampiňónoch.

Wait, what? A RABBIT? Yes, a rabbit. These cuddly critters make for common meal in much of Europe. Or at least used to, before supermarkets popped up all over the land and people got used to purchasing their meats shrink-wrapped. Rabbits used to be (and in places still are) commonly raised in villages. They are easy to take care of – just give them some hay (and a bit of alfalfa) and change their straw bed few times a week. The bed makes great natural compost. And yes, they breed like, well, rabbits.

So where do you find a rabbit? I found mine in Grand Mart, chain of Asian grocery stores here in the Washington, D.C. area. Or you can order it online, from places such as Ardeng Rabbit. Rabbit tastes much like chicken except that it’s leaner and has slightly sweeter taste. You can substitute chicken, if you can’t find a rabbit or have little queasiness about eating it, but that would be cheating a little. You will also need mushrooms. This recipe is made with the common button mushroom, called šampiňón in Slovak.

Ingredients: (these are from the original recipe) 1.7lbs of rabbit meat from front half, 2 larger onions, 150g (5oz) sliced mushrooms, 80g (3 oz) root vegetables, 4 tablespoons butter, ground nutmeg, one yolk, 1.5dl (0.6 cups) heavy cream, 2 tablespoons flour, parsley leaves, salt
Prep Time: 3 hours

ingredients for making stewed rabbit
Here is what you’ll need to make rabbit on mushrooms: one rabbit, carrots, onions, mushrooms, etc…

washing rabbit dressing rabbit
Start by washing and dressing the rabbit (králik). The recipe called for 0.8kg (1.7lbs) of meat from the front half of the animal cut into medium sized cubes. This particular rabbit (the biggest I could find) was not much more than skin and bones! It was nothing like the chubby silver fox rabbits I saw the day before at the National Zoo here in Washington, D.C. Even after cutting all the meat from front and back, I had only one measly pound… Save the bones for later, you can use them to make rabbit soup.

carrot parsnip onion vegetable soup for rabbit
Peel two carrots, little bit of parsnip (should use parsley root instead, but those are hard to find), plus the onion. Cut them up, and along with the rabbit, put in a pot of boiling salted water.

removing meat straining vegetables
Cook covered for about an hour, until the veggies and the meat softens. Then carefully (it will be hot), remove the meat and set aside. Strain the vegetables, but save the broth.

blending vegetables for sauce
Place the vegetables in a blender and add equal amount of broth. Blend to make thick sauce. The traditional way is to use a metal strainer and push the veggies through. This is how I did it when making tenderloin on cream. Never again! Although I am very much fond of following traditional methods, this is one time I’ll gladly reach for a modern gadget. You will get much smoother sauce by using the blender, and it’s much faster and whole lot less messy.

washing sliced mushrooms stewed mushrooms
Also while the veggies are cooking, stew mushrooms on butter. I used about 3/4 of the container and about half a stick of butter. Add the mushrooms once the butter is hot, reduce the heat, and cook covered until they get tender. This will take some 15-20 minutes.

roux with nutmeg roux
Remove the mushrooms, and add the flour and crushed nutmeg. Whisk to make roux.

adding sauce adding mushrooms
Top off with the creamy sauce. Add the mushrooms.

rabbit meat in vegetable sauce
And the rabbit.

yolk and heavy cream thinning sauce
Then break an egg, separate the yolk from the egg white by tossing the yolk back and forth between the two halves. Add the yolk to the cream, whisk well, and pour in to thin the sauce.

creamy sauce with rabbit meat
And that’s it! Very easy, right? Add more salt, if needed.

delicious stewed rabbit on mushroom in vegetable sauce with macaroni and fruit cocktail králik na šampiňónoch eating outside
This dish should be served with the steamed dumpling. But after cooking all day, I didn’t feel like making it, and we had macaroni instead. Garnish with few parsley leaves. Also serve with a side of fruit cocktail (kompót). The dish went great with the pea soup. My mom and few other friends joined in for dinner. The dish got really good reviews – the best one was that there were not leftovers. The cook (that’s me) had to make by with scrubbing the pot clean with a slice of bread…

Looking for similar recipes? Then take a look at chicken paprikash.

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