Note: This recipe can be applied to any small game animal.
My mom originally got some version of this recipe from the back of a box containing a frozen domestic rabbit. She used it to prepare countless squirrels that my two brothers and I bagged as kids, and it’s still a favorite dish for the three of us.
- 2-3 pounds rabbit or squirrel (legs and back)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- ½ cup flour
- Cooking oil
- 5 or 6 crushed gingerbread cookies, (optional).
- Combine the water, vinegar, cloves, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, and allspice to make the brine.
- Place the meat in a food safe tub, pour over the brine and set a heavy plate on top of the meat to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for two or three days.
- Remove the meat and pat it dry with paper towels. (Reserve the leftover brine).
- Dust the pieces with flour, and start to brown them in a ¼” of cooking oil in a heavy, low-rimmed pot (such as a Dutch oven) set over medium-high heat.
- Remove meat, pour off excess oil, and return meat to the pot arranging it in a single layer on the bottom. Add enough of the brine to just barely cover the meat then let it simmer over low heat for 1 ½ hours.
- Remove the meat and thicken the remaining cooked brine in the pan with flour or, preferably, crushed gingersnap cookies.
Lay the cooked meat over a bed of mashed potatoes and drown in thickened sauce.