Recipe inspired by a piece about dining in the American Pacific territories, about which the less said the better.
Dated January 25, 2012.
LAPIN À LA PALAUÂNE
Braised rabbit in tomato and coconut milk with garlic and ginger, black peppercorns, and a dash of palm wine vinegar.
Serve with boiled rice, and some cassava croquettes on the side.
One rabbit, cut into eight pieces.
One large onion, thinly sliced.
3 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed.
1 thumblength smashed ginger,
½ Tbs. whole Ponape pepper corns.
½ tsp. each: paprika, ground cumin.
4 Tbs. olive oil, plus one extra tablespoon.
1 can (14 ounces) plum tomatoes, drained and chopped.
1 cup chicken stock.
1 cup coconut milk.
2 Tbs. palm vinegar (sukang paombong, available at Philippino stores).
Salt to taste.
Rinse the rabbit well and pat the pieces dry. Combine the garlic, ginger, paprika, and cumin in a bowl, with one tablespoon of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the meat, and leave to penetrate for an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat the four tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add the onion slices, fry golden and translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the rabbit to the pan and fry on low heat till lightly browned. Return the onion to the pan, add the pepper corns, stir in the tomato and stock, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for forty five minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and add the palm vinegar. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for a further fifteen minutes or so, until the rabbit is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Garnish with some fresh cilantro, and serve.