Rat Braise
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: Post Apocalyptic Elegance
Serves: 20
This is quite a lovely adaptation to a survivalist meal. It was done as performance art and the rat can be substituted for Rabbit or lamb
  • 15 whole rats, skinned and gutted, tails removed (if using rabbit; 5 rabbits. Lamb you want about 10 lbs.)
  • Salt and pepper 6 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium white Spanish onions, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half down the center vertically, not peeled 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (if using lamb or rabbit use vegetable or make a stock from the bones)
  • Red wine vinegar to taste.
  • 2 cups veal glacé
  1. Lightly season rats on one side with salt and pepper and sear on both sides in 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil until lightly browned using an oven-safe rondeau or braising pan large enough to comfortably fit without crowding. Transfer rats to a 5-by-8-inch molded edge sheet pan
  2. Add onions, celery and carrot to the rondeau or braising pan and sweat, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves and rosemary and sweat until aromatic.
  3. Deglaze the pan with wine, add cinnamon, orange zest, garlic and blueberries. Reduce by ¾.
  4. Add rats back into the pot along with any drippings. Add chicken stock and veal glacé and bring to a boil. Return to a simmer, cover with a lid or foil and place in a 330-degree oven and cook for about 90 minutes or until meat is tender.
  5. Let meat cool in liquid until it is easy to handle, and then transfer to sheet pan.
  6. Strain liquid and reduce until ¾ to 1 cup remains.
  7. Pick the rat meat and discard all bones. Once liquid is reduced, mix ¼ cup to a ½ cup into meat until just moistened (you do not want a lot of liquid), and season with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
  8. Line the sheet pan with plastic wrap, with the wrap extending over the edges. Pack meat onto the sheet pan and fold the plastic over so it completely covers meat. Refrigerate overnight to set.
  9. Unmold the meat while still cold and cut into 20 portions. Heat a sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Sear one side of the meat until golden brown, transfer to an oven at 350 degrees until hot all the way through. For sauce, reduce remaining liquid from meat by ½ until it is the consistency of syrup. Serve with a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon.
Original recipe and article found on the New York Times website: "Heads, Yes. Tails, No."
Photo Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times
Recipe by Cabin Goddess at http://cabingoddess.com/2014/12/15/oh-rats-review-recipe-scifimagpie-nicolaswilson-mondayblogs/