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Sweet and sour rabbit stew with polenta and pomegranate
Sweet and sour rabbit stew with polenta and pomegranate

This dish with wild rabbit or hare is simple, incredibly tasty and very festive but it takes some patience. The polenta needs time to firm up so you can easily cut it into slices later.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lbs polenta
  • 12 shallots
  • 5 tbsp of butter
  • 2 lbs rabbit or hare
  • 1/2 cup of sugar or honey
  • 1 large glass of Marsala wine (sweet)
  • 1/2 cup Aceto Balsamico
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated cloves
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Some holly or fresh basil leaf for decoration
Recipe steps:

We divide this dish into three steps.  

Note: Rabbit stew should not contain any bones after cooking, cut away as much meat from the bone as possible before you start. You should be able to carefully remove the remaining pieces of bone after cooking. The acidity of the pomegranate seeds is essential for the taste as a balance for the sweetness of the meat.

  1. The polenta : Polenta is corn flour, also called semolina. Polenta is a traditional North-Italian dish. It used to be made from different kinds of grain, but after South America maize was introduced in Italy semolina of corn took its place. Polenta is high in calories but you will burn some while preparing this dish.
  2. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to the boil and slowly add the polenta. Keep stirring continuously so the polenta doesn't become lumpy. After 30 to 40 minutes working the polenta it should have a firm consistency.
  3. Pour the polenta into a greased 12 inch cake pan, let it cool down a little and then put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Even the top out to make it as smooth as possible. 
  4. The stew: Clean and cut the 12 shallots in 4 pairs.
  5. Heat 5 or 6 tablespoons of butter in a large pan. Add the shallots and let them caramelize. Keep stirring until the shallots become glassy. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat back up and add the meat to the pan turning the pieces to brown slightly on all sides, be careful not to burn the shallots.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar or honey and keep stirring until the sugar has completely melted and sticky bubbles appear.
  8. Deglaze with a large glass of sweet Marsala wine, 1/2 cup of Aceto Balsamico and a teaspoon of freshly grated cloves.
  9. Stir for a minute or two and turn down the heat to simmer. Put the lid on the pan and let the meat stew for at least 1 hour. When the meat is cooked, let the stew cool down so it will be easy to remove the remaining bones.
  10. Serving: Cut the pomegranate and remove the red seeds from the white membrane, wash in cold water.
  11. Rinse the green leaves, holly or fresh bay leaves or whatever you choose to use and dry them carefully.
  12. Turn the polenta loaf onto a cutting board and slice as thinly as possible without breaking the slices. With a petal shaped cookie cutter, cut as many petals as possible. You can also use a glass to make half moon shapes.
  13. In a large frying pan heat a bit of oil and bake the polenta petals on both sides slightly brown. 
  14. Decorate each plate with the polenta petals in a circle and then put a large spoonful of warm rabbit stew in the middle (like the heart of a sunflower), decorate the plate with some green leaves and sprinkle a handful of pomegranate seeds on top. Drizzle some olive oil over each plate to give it a little extra shine.