There’s a knock at the door and I’m handed a brace of pigeon. ‘Do you fancy a rabbit?’ the Glam Teen asks. Since his 21st birthday, when he got the longed for shot gun and we had to install the gun cabinet and accompanying locks, there’s been a constant flow of locally caught gems. A lot of pigeon, but I never know what I’m going to find at the door.
I used to think game was expensive and only for special occasions. In fact it’s often very cheap and the ultimate seasonal food. I got my two wild rabbits, skinned and gutted I’m pleased to say. Then it was just down to me to joint them and decide how to cook my bounty. I wanted a dish that would make the most of the aromatic flavour of the rabbits. There’s a sweet, gamey fragrance as they cook, that tastes as it smells and satisfies all the senses at once, just as truffles do. I checked out the internet and finally chose a recipe from Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets and adapted it to create a more Southern French dish.
- 2 wild rabbits, jointed (available from good butchers)
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 100g plain flour for dusting
- 50g unsalted butter
- 35mls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 large cloves garlic finely chopped
- 170mls white wine
- 500g fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded (you can use tinned)
- 100g pitted mixed black and white
- 160 mls water (I used the water from peeling the tomatoes)
- 3 sage leaves
- 4 sprigs of tarragon
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat oven 150c
- Rub the rabbit all over with the mustard and dust with flour
- Heat the butter in a casserole dish and brown the rabbit all over, remove from the pan and set aside
- Add the olive oil to the casserole, scrape off as much of the caramelised crusty goodness from the bottom of the pan as possible
- Add the chopped onions and sweat without browning for 5 minutes
- Add the chopped garlic and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes
- Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze, be sure to scrape any remaining caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Place the rabbit back in the casserole, add the tomatoes, olives and the water
- Toss in the sage, tarragon and bay leaves and bring to a simmer
- Put into the pre-heated oven and cook for 3 hours until the meat falls from the bones. check after 2 hours and then every 30 mins
- When cooked, remove the rabbit from the pot and take the meat from the bones, add back into the pot and warm through.
- Serve over roasted vegetables, rice or mash
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