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History Cookbook: Rabbit Stew

This recipe is in categories World War 2, Main courses
About this recipe
Healthiness : (169 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: This recipe has several steps. Peeling, chopping and grating are required as well as the main cooking steps.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes pre-soaking
Cooking Time: 1 hour or 4 hours in a haybox
Number of servings: 4
Serving suggestions: Serve with seasonal vegetables.


With meat on ration, the government encouraged people to keep rabbits and chickens to provide meat and eggs. This recipe makes use of rabbit meat, ideally reared at home and therefore not on ration, which allows you to use a little bacon which was a rationed item.

The vegetables used would be seasonal, making use of the food grown in people's gardens and on allotments.

Ingredients
  • 1 whole rabbit, jointed
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 oz (25g) plain flour
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1-2oz lard or dripping
  • 2 bacon rashers, with rinds if possible
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 pint (600ml) water or stock
  • 1 cooking apple
  • optional: fresh parsley
Equipment
  • Measuring jug
  • Weighing scales
  • Tablespoon
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Strainer
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Peeler
  • Frying pan
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Put the rabbit into the cold water and vinegar for 30 minutes to 1 hour
  2. Strain and pat the rabbit pieces dry
  3. Mix the flour with salt and pepper, flour the rabbit pieces
  4. Trim the rind from the bacon and add it to the lard in a frying pan
  5. Brown the rabbit pieces, for about 10 minutes
  6. Peel and core the apple and grate it
  7. Peel and chop the carrots, onions and bacon
  8. Using the fat from the frying pan, gently cook the onions, carrots, apple and bacon for 5 minutes
  9. Add the stock and herbs, if you are using them, and bring to the boil, stirring to thicken
  10. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes
  11. Historically, the dish would then be put in a hay box for 4-5 hours. You can however continue to cook gently on the hob for another 30 minutes
  12. Serve hot with seasonal vegetables
Rabbit Stew - print view  Rabbit Stew - print view

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Comments
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Name: Lily 56 17th November 2016
yuck we hated it and mum made 8 trays of it
Name: Lilly 4th July 2016
Its really nice =)
Name: Jo 26th June 2016
My mother was a young child in London during the war. Her dad bought a pair of rabbits for breeding purposes, but he couldn't bring himself to kill their offspring, so the rabbits became household pets and he gave their babies way to people who weren't quite so squeamish.This is a good recipe, although I admit that as I live in Italy I tend to use a recipe from Luguria, which has wine and black olive in it.
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