The Winter Solstice is a big holiday for the Otter Troldahl clan.
This year will be a quiet celebration, but what we can do, we will do with mindfulness and appreciation.
This year I'm making hassenpfeffer.
Historically, game was a major part of the diet during the winter months. That and any produce that can be preserved (dried apples and berries, nuts, onions etc) formed a major part of the diet.
At Solstice, you could feast, but always in your mind was that half of the winter was yet to come. So you ate what wouldn't last out the dark days, and were full of gratitude for winter game.
Here's my recipe for hassenpfeffer. I am not giving firm amounts for the spices, half a palm full will do.
If you need to use ground spices, stick closer to half a teaspoon.
2-3 pounds of rabbit, cut up
all spiceblack pepper
pinch of mace if you've got it
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
slug of smoky whiskey (Islay if you've got it)
adding red wine is ok too.
soak rabbit for 1-2 days in the spiced marinade.
dredge in seasoned flour, brown in butter.
strain marinade, add the liquid to the rabbit and cook in dutch oven for about 1 hour, until it's good and tender.
make sauce from liquid, thicken a bit if need be, serve with good egg noodles or whatever you have on hand for underneath.