NEBRASKAland December 2018

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 34 of 59

DECEMBER 2018 • NEBRASKAland 35 or jackrabbit for hasenpfeffer. We couldn't afford much store-bought meat back then, but rabbits were plentiful." He may still have a copy of his grandma's hasenpfeffer recipe "stashed somewhere." I also talked with my mom, Mary Ann Steinauer of Omaha. Strangely, though of full German heritage, her maiden name was Dahmke, and raised on a farm on the outskirts of Millard, she had never heard of hasenpfeffer until marrying my dad. Despite cooking hasenpfeffer at my dad's request, she, like her squeamish youngest son, could never bring herself to eat it. "It must be an acquired taste from childhood," she mused. She thought the recipe she used was likely the same Steinauer recipe that Uncle Clem had stashed somewhere. My sister recently found my mom's at- least-60-year-old handwritten copy of this recipe folded in a cookbook. Recently, to revive a family tradition, and using two rabbits I harvested last winter, I used my great grandma's recipe and made hasenpfeffer. Would I Iike it? Or would my tastes still be tainted from soured childhood memories? Well ... first of all, my now more sophisticated nose found the aroma of the cooking hasenpfeffer rather pleasant, slightly tangy, earthy – far from disgusting. As to the taste, it was really good. The meat was moist, fall- off-the-bone tender with just the right amount of spiciness and sourness. The gravy was wonderful over mashed potatoes. Now I see why the Steinauer boys liked their hasenpfeffer. I never would have guessed it, but they had pretty good culinary tastes. ■ Hasenpfeffer – a German rabbit stew – served with mashed potatoes and baked apple slices.

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