Many Poles who live in villages and country areas of Poland keep rabbits. My grandparents did this. My parents still do this. These rabbits aren’t given names and are not kept as pets. They are for eating.
Here is one of our family recipes, which we eat on a fairly regular basis. We just call it ‘Rabbit and Mushrooms’ but I suppose it would be called ‘rabbit and mushroom stew’ by others. We sometimes vary this recipe by using chicken rather than rabbit, so if you can’t find rabbit or don’t like the idea of eating rabbit simply substitute the rabbit for chicken.
Polish Rabbit and Mushrooms
25 grams dried borowik mushrooms
1 whole garlic bulb
1 tbsp oil (sunflower or olive)
500 grams mushrooms (mixed)
4 tbsps of butter
2 onions, chopped
1 cup of red wine
3 cups of chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 parsnips (chopped into chunks)
2 tbsps fresh parsley (chopped)
Soak the dried borowik (Boletus) mushrooms in water (instructions for reconstituting dried mushrooms).
Cut the rabbit into pieces and add salt.
Chop the fresh mushrooms (white field mushrooms or whatever is available) into chunky pieces.
Add the mushrooms to a large saucepan and fry them in a little butter. Remove.
Add the rabbit pieces to the saucepan and fry over a medium heat. Brown the rabbit well on all sides. Remove from pan.
Add the onions to the saucepan and fry until they are just starting to brown. Add salt to taste.
Add the chicken stock and red wine to the onions and stir well. Add the thyme, all of the mushrooms, rabbit and parsnips to the saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for around two hours. Stir in the parsley.
Serve with potatoes or bread.