RABBIT XIMBÓ 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

2

tender maguey leaves, slightly grilled over the range to soften
1


rabbit, 2-2 ½ kg (5 ½ lb) cleaned, cut into pieces, immersed in water with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup sugar,
2


tablespoons vinegar, 2 fresh bay leaves, 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh marjoram, for 3 hours in the refrigerator
4 morita peppers, opened, seeded, roasted
4 ancho peppers, opened, seeded, roasted
2 guajillo peppers, opened, seeded, roasted
10 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon oregano
¾ l (¾ qt) white pulque
plastic wrap, as needed
6


nopales (prickly pear cactus paddles—not the prickly pear fruit itself) cleaned, lightly roasted and cut into thin strips
1

green onion, finely sliced including the green
coarse salt to taste
kitchen twine (hemp) as needed
aluminum foil as needed

TO SERVE

corn tortillas

PROCEDURE

Grind peppers with garlic, cumin, oregano, 2 cups of pulque and salt.
Drain the rabbit pieces, place in a bowl and rub them with the peppers mix. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 180° C.
Place one of the maguey leaves on a cutting board, beneath the nopales and onions, add a sprinkle of salt. Then on top of this, arrange marinated rabbit pieces and bathe the construction in the rest of the pulque.
Cover with the other maguey leaf and tie everything together with the hemp twine, like a gift. Wrap with foil and place on an oven sheet. Bake for approximately 2 hours.
Serve hot, remove aluminum foil, bring to the table and remove one leaf to allow each diner to help himself.
Serve with warm corn tortillas.

* Typically this dish is roasted in a below-ground oven.

GLOSS

Ximbó is another word for a tender maguey leaf. The Otomí peoples of Hidalgo use maguey leaves mainly to wrap and cook food in below-ground ovens.
The Aztecs and the Maya associated rabbits with the moon. The former used a rabbit glyph to symbolize the eighth day of the week and related it to the corresponding southern compass point. The rabbit god Ometochtli was the god of drunkenness who prepared and sold pulque. Since those days, rabbits have been appreciated for their meat and fur. Now rabbits are farmed for meat and eaten different ways according to region and custom.

Products

Guajillo chile
Morita chile
Ancho chile
Rabbit
Maguey agaves
Nopal cactus paddles