Growing up on the islands this dish would never be a reality, since my brother had rabbits (among other animals and fish) as pets. However since moving to Canada and having access to rabbits at most grocery stores (without guilt of seeing them as pets), combined with my attraction to ‘game’, this dish is somewhat of a norm for me. Especially during the warmer months when I can use my outdoor wood burning stove in the back yard.
3 1/2 – 4 lbs rabbit
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 tablespoon Cocopine Pimento Sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon Amchar Masalla (for seasoning)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (adjust)
8 cherry tomatoes (any tomato will work)
2-3 tablespoon veg oil
1 medium onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 heaping tablespoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon amchar massala
2-3 tablespoon water (for making the curry slurry)
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
4-6 wiri wiri peppers (optional)
2-3 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
* use ground roasted cumin if you cannot source the amchar massala
Important! If doing this dish gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs (especially the curry powder you use as some may contain flour as a thickener). For the Cocopine Pimento Sauce, please check my friend Chef Barry Bartholomew at @Cheffinbar on Instagram.
Cut (small pieces), wash with lemon or lime juice and drain (how you’d normally wash meats). We’re using the entire rabbit (liver, heart and kidney).
Then season with salt, green seasoning, Caribbean green seasoning, coco pine sauce, anchar massala, scotch bonnet pepper, cherry tomatoes and black pepper. Mix well and marinate for about 3 hours in the fridge.
Today we’ll be using my outdoor wood burning stove, so it’s time to get that fire started. Basically you want a low heat to start. Heat the oil on a med/low flame then add the onion and garlic and cook on LOW for 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime mix the curry powder (use your fav), along with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon anchar massala with the water, to form a slurry. Now add that to the pot and mix well. This will help us bloom the spices which makes up the curry powder and ultimately cook-off that raw curry taste and texture.
The curry mixture will go darker in color, clump and you should burn off all that liquid.. until you can see the oil we started with. Now crank up the heat and go in with the seasoned rabbit (not the liver, kidney and heart – yet). Be sure to toss around well, to coat each piece of the rabbit with the curry base.
Bring to a boil (it will spring it’s own natural juices), then simmer for about 20 minutes on med/low. Be sure to stir occasionally. Do not cover the pot. Then crank up the heat to burn off that liquid – this step will give us the color we’re looking for and intensify the curry flavor of the completed dish.
Once it’s dry, add the coconut milk + water and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a gentle simmer, to allow us braise the rabbit until it’s tender.
1 hour and 30 minutes later, taste for salt and adjust to your liking, Burn off the gravy to the consistency you like and be sure to make sure it’s a tender as you like it. Now add the liver, heart and kidney and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then toss in the wiri wiri peppers, along with the chopped cilantro and you’re DONE!
Birds Eye Peppers (bird pepper) is a great substitute to the Wiri Wiri peppers or you can leave that out if heat is not your thing. If you’re based in the Caribbean and cannot source the cilantro (coriander), be sure to use Shado Beni (chadon beni or culantro)
The curry on it’s own is just magnificent, however should you have the ability to cook this over a wood fire – the taste is just INCREDIBLE! The smoke adds a lovely layer of flavor you can never achieve on the stove-top.