I’ve lost all ability to euphemize snow. The first snowflakes were fun, nostalgic even, New England’s frosty reminder that the next months ahead were going to be a little colder, a little whiter.
Four (five? six?) feet later, I am experiencing a vast change of heart. I curse the stuff. It’s likely the only weather pattern that, to date, has had the ability to seriously screw with my head. Snow, in these proportions, is some kind of sick, mental, kryptonite.
It’s given me a lot of opportunity for potential stove-front time, yes, but even that I can’t properly appreciate. Butchering my first rabbit became an experience slightly jaded by the fact that I was inside again that day. And then it was soured by the fact that a rabbit ragu was even seasonally appropriate. Because that meant it was cold outside. Then I went outside, and it was actually freezing, not just cold. Later that night it sleeted for six hours.
See what I mean? This much snow is terrible for the mind. And also for the windshield wipers, which by this point I’m pretty sure are permanently frozen.
All I’m saying is that I’ve had enough of winter, and that there becomes a real problem when even rabbit ragu can’t make me feel better. (That’s backwards, right?) I hope it works for you.
**Thanks to my mother for this picture, taken at the house where I grew up.
Adapted from Gourmet
Note: I made polenta with this, which worked really nicely, but have also been eating leftovers with pasta, and even spaghetti squash. I also substituted bacon for the pancetta and it came out just fine, so feel free to do that as well.
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (1/4-lb) piece pancetta cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 (3-lb) boned, butchered, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 1/2 lb boned)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup light dry red wine
1 14-oz can diced Italian tomatoes
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet (2 inches deep) over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
Add rabbit and cook, stirring occasionally, until rabbit is no longer pink on outside, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and carrot and continue to cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes, sea salt, and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.