Some weeks ago I wrote about our trip to Constanza a few weeks back, and some time before that I wrote of my memories of that beautiful region of the country. There was so much to see, so much to do in the three days that we were there, that I can’t help but try and convince you to go see for yourself.
One of the things that I learned from this trip is that I should trust my husband’s eyesight better than mine. But not his sense of taste.
One of the sites everybody recommended was the Aguas Blancas waterfall. Sure it is not the most impressive waterfall in the country, but it seems to be the most “untouched”. There seems to be a simple explanation for this: the “road” is hair-raising. It starts well enough for an unpaved road, enough to make you think this is just going to be another day trip. But soon – between the narrow road with a mountain on one side and a steep fall on the other – we felt like we were in a Top Gear episode, recreating one of the wacky trio’s insane trips.
Or perhaps we are older, wiser, and have a kid, and thus have a sense of responsibility and preservation that we lacked in our old days of adventures. Having made it in one piece, we are glad we took the trip. And gladder to be back home.
In the opposite direction, we went to see The Pyramid, the geographical center of our country, somewhere in the middle of a national park. The cold wind, pine tree forest, and wild flowers transported us to another place. It was like we were dropped in summertime Scandinavia. The road is pretty good (unpaved, though), the premises spotless and very well-maintained, the park rangers were very friendly (we wondered if they were not just very happy to have some company other than each other in such an isolated spot).
They regaled us with tales of unusually cold winters in which a bucket and mop left outside turned into a popsicle of sorts. And told us campsite stories of somebody once dying of exposure, a distinct possibility in those mountains if you find yourself unprepared in minus-zero temperatures and howling winds.
We took pictures of each other standing in the middle of the pyramid, which forms a cross pointing to the four cardinal points.
On the way back, a small sign and a humble monument mark the site of one of the most important moments in 20th-century Dominican history. The spot where Col. Camaño was assassinated. To get there one must walk through a field of wild flowers, it was a very surreal experience.
And on the way back we found a wild rabbit. Well, my husband did, I didn’t see it and I could not believe there were wild rabbits in our country.
I was wrong.
The two park rangers – that we ended up giving a ride back to town after their motorcycle broke down – were the perfect guides through the mountains. And they generously repaid the favor by educating us about the fauna and flora. It so happens there are wild rabbits in the mountains (and boars). The rabbits had escaped a farm decades before and did what rabbits do. Lacking a predator, and hunting being illegal, there were a lot of rabbits in those mountains.
Once we made it back to town, hungry and cold, we headed straight for the restaurant, where we found… why yes, rabbit was on the menu! I convinced my husband to order it (I generally don’t eat meat), he wasn’t enthusiastic at all. He’s not a fan of eating small furry things. It turns out that it was very good, especially served with mashed potatoes grown in the area. I decided I had to take a bite, as I was intent on recreating the recipe for my readers. Yep, it was good.
As luck had it, the supermarket had rabbit meat. And I had a bottle of white cooking wine (courtesy of our sponsor Holland House) that I had yet to try. A match made in heaven.
My in-laws were here by then, and my father in law, a restauranteur, chef and avid hunter totally approved.
- 2 rabbits , divided into pieces
- 2 teaspoons of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- 3 large red onions , sliced
- 1 bell pepper , cut into strips
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 3 cups of Holland House White Cooking Wine
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (soy, corn or peanut)
- 2 cups of water (may need more)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of flour
Place rabbit in a container with lid. Season with a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.
Cover with onions, bell pepper, thyme. Add the wine. Close with the lid and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Remove the rabbit from the container, shaking off the excess liquid. Reserve the marinade.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pot. Add the rabbit and brown (careful with splatters!). Cover with a lid. As the liquid evaporates, stir frequently, adding water by the tablespoon.
Once the meat is cooked through (it should be quite tender), let the liquid evaporate. Brown again. Stir in the peppers, onions and thyme from the marinade. Cook over very low heat until the onion has become translucent. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well, in order for the flour to cook throughout without burning. Add the cooking wine from the marinade and stir vigorously until it has mixed with the flour.
Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
This recipe and post is sponsored by Holland House cooking wines. I have received products and compensation to create this recipe.
Holland House offers several premium cooking wines and wine vinegars made with premium ingredients. Before the summer is over check out the Holland House labels for free brining recipes.
The opinions are 100% mine and have not been revised nor altered by the sponsor.