Today it's time to broaden my horizon a bit and leave the farmland surrounding Amsterdam - where both my parents grew up on farms, and where many of the recipes so far have been coming from - and the province of Friesland, which I have a particular fondness for, maybe because my father's ancestors are from Friesland.. anyway, today I'm looking south.
I think we spoke about the province of Limburg upthread.. Limburg is traditionally seen as the most 'burgundian' province of the Netherlands.. it is a predominantly catholic province and the people there are known for their food and ofcourse their beer.. many good beers are being made there.. maybe I should write about them also some day.
In Limburg dialect this dish is called Kenien in 't zoer
, which in Dutch would be Konijn in het zuur - Sour Rabbit
two rabbit legs (actually I ended up cooking 3 legs, without changing the rest of the recipe, and I think you could just as well cook 4 legs with these ingredients)
50 grams of butter
1 onion, finely minced
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
10 ml. red wine vinegar
20 ml. water
1 slice of soft gingerbread
2 teaspoons appelstroop
12 dried prunes (pitted and soaked, or use ready-to-eat dried prunes)
salt and pepper.
Season the rabbit with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter and slowly, thoroughly brown the rabbitpieces. When they are nicely browned, add the chopped onion. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion has softened.
Add the bayleaves, sugar, vinegar and water to the pan. Let bubble for a bit, then turn the heat to low and simmer the rabbit over very low heat until tender (about 1 hour should do it).
Take the rabbit from the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Crumble the slice of gingerbread into the pan
and cook for a minute or so until the sauce has thickened a bit. Turn the heat to low again, add the appelstroop to the sauce and stir until melted. Taste for salt and pepper. Put the Rabbit back in, add the prunes and serve (or reheat later).
It now looks like this:
I served this with Hete Bliksem, 'hot lightning', a mash made of apples and potatoes. The 'hot' part does not refer to spicyness, but to the fact that the apples retain the heat much longer than potatoes, so this is a mash that can burn your tongue!
In Holland, traditionally only 'zoete appels' (sweet apples) are used for this dish. However these are now hard to buy. I got a bag from my aunt this weekend, she knows someone who grows these:
However I have seen many recipes that use other kinds of apples, or even pears. Use any kind of firm, not too tart apple and this will taste great.
Equal amounts of apples and potatoes
Cook in salted until tender, then mash together with a knob of butter and a splash of milk. I like it best when not too thoroughly mashed, it should still have some texture.
All together on the plate (with a couple of strips of smoked bacon because I thought that would be a nice flavor contrast)
The sauce was really good, quite tart but with a lovely depth of flavor. I had never used gingerbread to thicken a sauce like this but it was great. ideally you should not use a gingerbread that has pieces of ginger or citron in it, but I just picked them out of the slice I had left from last week, thinking it would still be better to use my own homemade bread for this!