Excited to try something new, we tackled the potted shrimp and rabbit stew and had a few friends over for dinner.
For before-dinner drinks, we served whiskey and ginger ale and beer from the Sam Adams Fall Seasonal pack. For appetizers we served fried mushrooms with ranch dressing, potted shrimp with toasted baguette, and a platter with sharp white cheddar cheese, a beet and sauerkraut blend, and sweet gherkins. Potted shrimp is nearly equal parts shrimp and butter seasoned with spice, served cold. No one was a huge fan. I think it would be better served hot like a scampi, sopping up the mixture with bread, but I think that's Red Lobster's influence talking.
For dinner, we served the rabbit stew. I've ordered rabbit at fine dining restaurants but had never cooked it. Stripping the meat from the bones was a nightmare. Nothing like butchering a chicken. Teeny tiny bones and meat that takes a lot of work to add up to enough for a stew recipe. The rabbit was marinated in onions, a red Zinfandel wine that we drank with dinner, bay leaf, and other seasonings. The rabbit was cooked with carrots, onions, and celery. Basic ingredients. A traditional stew. But what made it really special was that it was finished with port wine and a few tablespoons of red currant jam. These lent a sweetness and fruitiness to the stew, brightening it. We served it over mashed potatoes, and it was amazing. It didn't have a strong gamy flavor because the meat and stew were so seasoned. Therefore, I think you could substitute lamb or beef to the same effect.