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Eating the Enemy: Arizona

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Calabrian Stewed Wildcat Recipe - Gattu Serivaggiu

Don't blanch; up until the 1950s most Calabrians who lived in the country ate meat once a week if that, and depended upon sheep and goats for much of their protein (through milk as well as meat). They would have of course attempted to kill any local predators, and having done so would have eaten their catch. This can also be done with hare, rabbit, game or chicken. If you are using game rinse the meat and marinate it for a day to reduce the gamy flavor.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 wildcat (or 2 rabbits), skinned, cleaned, and chopped into pieces
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • Several bay leaves
  • 1-2 hot red peppers or more to taste
  • A couple sprigs of fresh oregano (if you don't have the fresh herb start with a teaspoon dried, and increase if need be)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or lard
  • Salt

Preparation:

Sauté the sliced onion until golden in the fat. Add the meat and brown it too, then add the remaining herbs and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, turning occasionally, until the meat is almost done, then stir in the liquids and finish cooking (you may wish to remove the meat when it is nicely fork tender and reduce the sauce somewhat over high heat).

A wine? Ciró Rosso.

Yield: 4-6 servings Calabrian stewed wildcat.