By Krissie Mason
Vittles. Most hunters and farm folks in the Midwest have run across the term. It typically conjures simple, heritage cooking that reflects the way people actually prepare and consume whole foods. This is a perfect example adapted from a cookbook entitled Victuals by Ronni Lundy.
The book came into my home via a young, jaunty, Tennessee fellow who loves to cook, has a penchant for books, good food, spirited beverages, and speaks with a warm, polite Southern drawl. As we leafed through the pages of Victuals on his recent visit, we discovered the recipe for rabbit confit. It comes from the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro in Townsend, Tennessee. As I had a wild rabbit laid up in my freezer, we popped a cork and set about slow cooking it submerged in 5 pounds of melted leaf lard.
The whole process took two days, but by the end of it we had 1 ½ pounds of irresistible meat. Though we immediately devoured a portion some was reserved for other recipes.
1 wild rabbit ½ cup kosher salt ¼ cup packed brown sugar ¼ cup fresh herbs Zest and juice of 1 lime Zest and juice of 1 lemo Zest and juice of 1 orange 5 or 6 pounds of lard