Rabbit stew with barley

Spring is having identity issues this year. It’s still cold outside (enough to wear a jacket, in mid May!), so I wanted something braised and nice and warm. I’d also been wanting to experiment with rabbit meat for a while, so this was the result.

1 rabbit, cut in serving pieces
2 table spoon flour
salt and pepper
1 tea spoon paprika
olive oil
150g spicy pancetta
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fennel buld, cored and sliced
2 cups white wine
1 table spoon tomato paste
2 table spoon barley
1 sprig of fresh rosemary



1. In a plate, combine the flour, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Do not under salt.

2. Dust the rabbit pieces in the flour, shaking off excess.

3. Warm some oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or french faitout.
Sear on both sides to get some color. Work in batches.

4. While that’s going, dice up the pancetta.

5. When all the rabbit has been colored, set it aside.

6. Lower the heat to a medium-low and throw the pancetta into the pot. It will smoke. A lot.

7. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has been rendered out.

8. Add the fennel and onions.

9. Cook until the onions are translucent and the fennel starts to soften. Add the tomato paste and garlic.

10. Add the wine, scrapping up anything stuck at the bottom of the pot. Add the rosemary.

11. Nestle the rabbit back into the pot, making sure it’s as much under the liquid as possible.

12. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the barley.

13. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes (to allow the sauce to reduce)

14. Serve with good crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Enjoy!


Barley salad with red grapes and marinated bavette

Delicious and light enough to be a summer meal. Modified from this as my roommate isn’t a fan of allspice. Also, bavette might be a favored cut.

This is a two step recipe. The marinade, then the rest of the salad.

Marinade Ingredients :
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tea spoon berberé
1/2 tea spoon peppercorn
1 kg of bavette or so

Salad Ingredients:
Marinated bavette
2/3 cup barley
4 cups red grapes


1. Combine the berberé and peppercorns.

2. Roughly grind and break down.

3. Combine the oil, vinegar and ground spices.

4. Shake well.

5. Put the meat in a freezer ziploc bag.

6. Add the marinate and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours up to overnight.

7. When the meat is marinated bring 4 or 5 cups of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the barley.

8. Cook until the barley is softer but still a bit toothsome, about 30 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.

9. Remove the meat from the bag and discard the marinade. Salt on both sides and sear. Depending on how thick the meat is you might need to finish cooking it in a 375 degree oven. You want to meat rare or medium rare.

10. Slice the grapes in half and mix in with the barley.

11. Cut the meat into bite sizes and add to the grapes and barley.

12. Chop a good handful of parsley and add to the rest.

13. Serve while the meat is warm, but any left overs will be delicious cold.

Soupe aux Gourganes

Gourganes are also called “broad beans” or “wetland beans” in English. They are big flatish beans that are grown in Québec.

The traditional recipe calls for salted lard, but I used bacon instead. I also added some carrots to have a bit more vegetables.

1 onion, finely diced,
2 cloves of garlic, minced,
4 cups chicken stocks
2 cups gourganes (about 1 kilo with the shells)
1 tea spoon dried savory leaves
1/4 cup pearled barley
6 slices of bacon
4 carrots, sliced


1. Shell the gourganes. Sit down in front of tv, with something mindless on and remove the outer shells. Make sure to remove the tiny part that attaches the bean to the shell. quickly boil the beans in salted water for 1-2 minutes then rinse them out with cold water. This removes the thin slightly slimy film on them.

2. Cut the bacon up in small cubes and render on low heat. You want to render out the bacon’s fat.

3.  Add the diced onion and the minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes in the rendered bacon fat.

4. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock, scrapping at the bottom to get all the flavors out and into the liquid. Bring to a boil.

Then turn the heat back down to a simmer and add the beans, the dried savory and black pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 1h – 1h30 until the beans are “al dente”

5.  Bring the liquid back to a boil. Add the barley and stir it in. Bring back down to a simmer for 15 minutes.

6. Add the carrots and simmer for about 30 minutes more, or until the barley is fully cooked.

7. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.