Rabbit and Tasso Gumbo

By • April 5, 2010 12 Comments

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Author Notes: Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity ... WHACK! ZIP! Into the pot! I know, it's evil. It should be noted here that I am not the only one (ahem ... Mr L ...) that finds it hilarious to eat bunny on Easter. We have been known to have venison at Christmas as well ...aargersi

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Serves 6

  • 1 rabbit
  • olive oil
  • cajun seasoning (we use Joe's Stuff but you can use your favorite)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 stalks celery - greens and all
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound tasso ham
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons gumbo file (ground sassafras)
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • minced green onion (to top it with)
  • cooked long grain white rice (to serve it over)
  1. Cook the rabbit - heat the oven to 350. Cut Peter R up into chunks if he isn't already - no need to be fancy it's all coming off the bone later. Smear him all over with olive oil and then season liberally with cajun seasoning. Roast on a sheet pan for about 45 minutes, then remove from the oven to cool. Once it's cooled, pull the meat off the bones and chop into bite size hunks. Save the bones for stock.
  2. Now get everything mise en place ... once you start the roux you are COMMITTED! Chop the onion, pepper and celery (greens too!) into a 1/2 inch dice. Mince the garlic, chop the tasso, and warm the stock. Have the seasonings on standby. You are ready to roll.
  3. Put a sign on the door - Making A Roux, Can't Come To The Door. Heat a large heavy pot to medium high - I use a Le Cruset Dutch oven. Add in the oil and the flour and start stirring. I use a wooden spatula with a flat top, this gives you maximum stirrer-to-pan contact and will help keep things moving. As the roux starts to go golden you want to turn the heat down a bit, and I find myself inching the heat down all along until it's ready.
  4. Keep stirring. Do not stop. If you scorch the roux you have to start over and it is likely your arms will fall off. You want this to get to a deep chocolate brown, it's a bit scary at the end but be brave and keep stirring. It will take a half hour maybe a bit more depending on your pan / heat / bravado / etc.
  5. When your roux is nice and dark (see photo) add in the vegetables. They will sizzle like mad at first ... stir them around for a few minutes, then turn the heat back up and add the stock, bay leaf and thyme. The roux probably will lump up and look wierd at first - don't worry as soon as that stock gets simmering it will all turn thick and smooth and wonderful.
  6. After a few minutes, add the tasso, simmer, after a few more minutes add the rabbit. Simmer a few MORE minutes (did I mention this is going to take awhile?) taste the gumbo and now you want to start adding a bit more cajun seasoning a little at a time - be cautious because the ham and the rabbit are adding salt to your gumbo. Taste add taste add until it is the way you like it. I also add extra cayenne because we like spicy, but that is entirely up to you. Now is a good time to cook the rice and chop the green onions too.
  7. Just a few minutes before serving, add the Gumbo File into your pot and stir. Let that combine in and you are ready ... serve the gumbo over rice, top with green onions, sit back and enjoy! You are probably exhausted!

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