Comlek is an Albanian stew, which is made with rabbit. I’m visiting my friend and they are willing to try rabbit. However she has heard that you can’t get rabbit in months without an “R”. Which is now. It turns out that this depends on where you live and if you are hunting for rabbit. Rabbit hunting you want to do it at first frost, so that some of the parasites that live in rabbits will die. However in places that are warm like Arizona you can hunt all year, you just have to pay attention to if the rabbit has worms and such. However i’m not hunting rabbit, I’m just buying it.
My friend’s butcher did not have rabbit, so I called around and found one in San Francisco that did. Now to figure out how to transport this to her house. She lives in Washington and I am going to drive for two days to get there. I freeze the rabbit but it in a cooler. Luckily the hotel I stayed at had a frig. So the rabbit made it safely but it was still frozen.
The rabbit I got was whole and we need to break it down to just the meat. I have never done that before, but my friend used to have cows and they are fairly comfortable breaking down animals, but not totally sure how to do it. Well, thankfully for the internet we found a site which told us how to.
It turns out it is pretty much like braking down a chicken. You crack the front legs from the joint and cut them out. You do the same to the hind legs and then you cut the stomach and remove the liver and kidney.
Then you are left with the tenderloin, which looks a bit phallic.
You cut off the rib cage and crack it in half. Then, cut the tenderloin up into parts.
One interesting fact is that rabbit was as abundant as chicken in the US, but one of the reasons that rabbit is not as popular is it doesn’t have as much boneless meat as chicken does.
We then cut the meat off the bone and marinated. The recipe required very little vinegar and we were all skeptical it would do anything. We rotated the meat a few times to see that it all meat got its time in the marinade.
The recipe for the stew was fairly straight forward, however at the end of cooking it was a bit to soupy. I would add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it, so that it is more of a gravy. We served it with mashed potatoes and the result was delicious. The rabbit is extremely tender and the broth had a strong cinnamon flavor. Rabbit is yummy in my tummy!
- 1 rabbit cut into bite size pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 Garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 1/2 of a cinnamon stick
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 whole allspice berries
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 700 g pearl onions, peeled but left whole
- Marinate the rabbit in the bay leaves and vinegar overnight in the fridge.
- Remove the rabbit pieces from marinade, keeping the bay leaves) pat them dry and fry them in half the olive oil until golden-brown on both sides.
- When all rabbit pieces have been fried, return them to the saucepan.
- Add garlic cloves, bay leaves, spices, rosemary cook for 30 seconds until you can you can smell the spices.
- Add wine and cook for 5 minutes.
- Then add the tomatoes, sugar and stock.
- Cover and cook for about 1 hour.
- In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions.
- Stir them occasionally, in order to make sure they turn golden all over (about 15 minutes).
- Add the contents of the frying pan to the saucepan, and mix so that the onions spread evenly.
- Finally, cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.