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Cottontail Cacciatore

Rabbit:
  • 2 ea/2 pounds cleaned and quartered cottontail (or chicken drumsticks or squash)
  • 1 tsp sea salt and herb blend
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, dried

Chef Eduardo Garcia recommends starting the rabbit on a Traeger pellet smoker at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, simply sear on medium/high heat on a heavy bottomed cast iron or other pan. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes and flip pieces halfway to ensure even browning on all sides. Remove from the heat and transfer into the gravy to finish cooking.

Mushroom Broth:

  • ½ cup dried oyster mushrooms (or use ¼ cup of morel, lobster or porcini or ½ cup of freshly sliced mushrooms)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper

Place all in a mason jar or other container and fill with 1 qt of boiling water. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.

 

Grits:

  • 1 cup grits
  • ½ tsp Montana Mex Jalapeno Seasoning
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 Tbsp Montana Mex Extra Virgin Avocado Oil (or butter or cream)

In a medium sized saucepan or pot, add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and rest your grits for a minimum of 20 minutes. In this quick method, the resting period allows time for the starch to release from the ground corn into the cooking liquid which will yield creamier grits. To finish your Grits, bring the pot back to a low burner. Stir the cooked grits and adjust the consistency to suit your taste with added liquid and then finish with a couple tablespoons of Montana Mex Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, butter or cream. 

Cottontail Cacciatore by Chef Eduardo Garcia

 

Gravy:

  • 3 medium carrots, chopped into ½" pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped into ½" pieces
  • 2 cups celery, chopped into ½" pieces
  • 4 tomatoes cut into large pieces (or 1 small can of peeled plum tomatoes)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp Montana Mex Jalapeño Seasoning
  • ¼ cup Montana Mex Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
  • 1 cup Montana Mex Ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp dry rosemary
  • ¼ cup pitted olives (play with variety and find what you like)
  • 1 quart mushroom broth (or other broth or water)
  • Parsley

Cottontail Cacciatore Montana Mex

Heat a heavy bottomed soup pot to medium heat and add avocado oil along with carrots, onion and celery. Cook while stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are showing some signs of browning/caramelization and color. Add all remaining ingredients except the broth and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Add the broth with mushrooms and give the whole pot a good stir. Add the rabbit and reduce the heat to a medium low. Simmer covered with a lid for 50 minutes. Check the rabbit intermittently. Ideally this dish would simply simmer away for 50 or so minutes with a few easy check-ins along the way to ensure the dish is simmering and not boiling. At this point, add and stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Check the gravy for flavor and seasoning and adjust as needed to suit your taste. Serve directly over the grits and enjoy!

Cottontail Cacciatore by Chef Eduardo Garcia

 

 

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