Food and Fandom: H.S. Curie’s Hasenpfeffer

tl;dr

(Click for the straightforward Hasenpfeffer Recipe)


I’ve been trudging along with Neal Shusterman’s Scythe not because it drags, but because I get way too worked up with the characters and the plot. Twice now I started screaming out loud at what was happening, but goh. Anyway, this isn’t me reviewing the book. Not yet.

I haven’t actually done a Food and Fandom post in a while, so yay for another addition to the list!

Honestly, I’ve been trying to find a good dish to replicate/emulate and so far there’s really been nothing that stood out for me in books (save for one that’s more autumn-themed, but we’ll get to that in a couple weeks).

Thankfully something finally came up.

Citra arrived on the main floor ready to assess the contents of the pantry and refrigerator, but to her surprise she found the dinner table set for two, and steaming plates of food already there.

“I had a hankering for hasenpfeffer,” the scythe said. “I think you’ll like it.”

“I don’t even know what hasenpfeffer is.”

“Best if you don’t.”

Like Citra, I didn’t know what hasenpfeffer was. So I googled it and found that it was rabbit stew. And naturally, because it was such an odd dish and concept to me (I’ve only had rabbit one other time at a Russian pub), I gravitated toward it. Also, the fact that H.S. Curie cooks for the sake of cooking is kind of badass. As badass as the fact that she’s a High Scythe and you never ever mess with one of the OG Scythes in existence.

So, that said, the question then no longer was “What should I cook/bake next?” but “Where in suburbia am I going to find a friggin’ rabbit?”

Turns out one of the local Korean stores had frozen stocks of them. So that was one obstacle off my mind.

Then it finally came down to prepping and slicing this bunny up into pieces.

Boy oh boy. I am so glad nothing happened between me, the knife, and the super-dead bunny. Or super-drunk-dead-bunny. Can dead bunnies get drunk, by the way?

Whatever the case, I added that wine marinade like a B.O.S.S.

(Except for that one solid moment of panic when I thought I added scallions instead of shallots and reread the recipe to realize I was doing it correctly…so crisis averted!)

The recipe itself (which I’ve linked at the top and at the bottom of the post) called for a lot of spices, some of which were fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme (teehee, like the brothel name in Witcher 3) and others I didn’t typically use on a regular basis. Like red wine. I’m not a big red wine drinker, but thankfully I had that in stock at home.

Finally Citra sat and tasted the stew. Flavorful. A little gamey, but not bad. The sweetness of honey-glazed carrots cut the gaminess.

HOW DID I FORGET THE HONEY GLAZED CARROTS?

(That’s okay, I don’t know if H.S. Curie actually put bacon in hers, but I thought the bacon cut down on the sweet and sourness of the stew’s marinade.)

Although, to be honest, the rabbit itself, once cooked, tasted more like gamey chicken. I’d boiled it to the point where it was so soft that if you fed this dish to anyone, they’d probably just think they were eating chicken stew. With bacon. Mmm bacon.

Verdict — As a Filipino, I pretty much went along with the following taste analogy: If sinigang pork and adobo chicken had an affair that involved red wine and bacon, then you get sinigang-sour-adobo-rabbit. The sour cream actually cuts into the adobo-ish marinade of the red wine vinegar and the red wine. Overall, it’s actually a pretty tasty dish!

So thanks for that, H.S. Curie!

Hasenpfeffer Recipe (courtesy of Wide Open Eats).

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