Another rabbit recipe. I keep finding more, and I’m still working through them; who knew there were so many? This one was especially tasty, and I would make it again, no bother. It might be good with green olives as well. I served it with polenta, but mashed potatoes would be good as well.
- 1 wild rabbit, jointed
- 30g butter, or a mixture of butter and lard
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes, or 250g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 300ml dry white wine
- salt and pepper
- In a large casserole dish or lidded saucepan, brown the rabbit pieces in the butter and lard. Remove from the pan and put to one side
- In the butter and lard, brown the onion for five minutes, and then add the celery and garlic for another couple of minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, and simmer for five minutes
- Return the rabbit to the pan, and pour over the white wine. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer
- Reduce the heat and cook slowly for around 2 hours, or until the rabbit is nice and tender. If the sauce is looking a bit dry, add some more wine.
Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.
We used some wild rabbit to make this, which takes quite a bit of cooking until it is tender.
- 1 large rabbit, jointed into five or six pieces
- 600ml stock (vegetable or chicken stock)
- 100g ground almonds
- 6 cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground mace or a blade of mace
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 50g pine nuts
- 2 tsp sugar
- a pinch of saffron
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Rinse the rabbit pieces, and drop them into boiling water. Bring the water to the boil, then drain and rinse the rabbit in cold water.
- Put the blanched rabbit into a saucepan with half of the stock, and simmer over a low heat. Check from time to time, and top up with a little water if there is a risk of the dish boiling dry. I simmered our rabbit for an hour.
- Mix the rest of the stock with the ground almonds and bring to a simmer. I used a stick blender to ensure that the almonds and the stock were well blended and finely mixed.
- Mix the rabbit and the almond mixture, and add the mace, cloves and cinnamon, as well as the pine nuts and sugar. Bring back to a simmer, and cook until the rabbit is tender.
- Meanwhile, put the saffron in a small glass or jug and add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water, and let this stand for twenty minutes.
- When the rabbit is cooked, add the saffron water and the red wine vinegar, bring back to the boil briefly, before serving.
We had this with celeriac and potato mash, and some root vegetables.
This is not the first recipe I have made using these three main ingredients, but it is the simplest, and it uses lots of bits of meat that don’t always find a good home. I made this with a bag of lamb ribs and breast, but you could also use boned shoulder of lamb, cut into cubes. For cooking these cuts of meat, a long slow cook is best.
- About 1kg of mutton or lamb, cut into large pieces.
- 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
- Around 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 600ml of water or simple lamb stock
- 2 tsp dried mint leaves
- 3 tsp hot paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon, or more to taste
- around 450g waxy potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- Heat the oil a large casserole pan, and add the lamb and sliced onions. Cook over a medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the onion is softening and the lamb is browned.
- Add the drained chick-peas and the water or stock, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the herbs, paprika and turmeric, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over a low heat for a couple of hours, until the meat is becoming tender.
- Add the lemon juice, adjust the seasoning to taste, and then put the sliced potatoes on the top. Cook for another thirty minutes. As an alternative, cook the potatoes separately and serve them mashed. You could also set the stew aside, or freeze, ready to finish with the potatoes the next day.
- Serve with a swirl of plain yoghurt.
When buying locally slaughtered lamb or mutton, there are inevitably cuts of meat that may be less familiar, or harder to find recipes for. Ribs are one of these, not featured in posh recipe books. I made this last night, it was delicious. There is curry powder in there, but it is subtle, not a dominant flavour, just balancing the sweetness of the lamb.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, such as rapeseed oil
- 600g lamb ribs (if you have more, increase the curry powder and lemon juice to taste)
- 1 heaped teaspoonful of Madras curry powder
- salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon
- 100g leeks, sliced
- 100g carrots, in large chunks
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- a handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- 500ml stock, (lamb stock or vegetable stock)
- 30ml dry sherry
- 4 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced. Use a waxy potato such as Charlotte.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish, and fry the lamb ribs over a high heat until browned. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, and spoon into a bowl.
- In the same pan, saute the leeks and garlic for a few minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook on a medium heat for a minute or two, until really fragrant.
- Add the meat back into the pan, along with the sherry, stock and parsley. Bring to a simmer and check the seasoning.
- Simmer at a low heat for around an hour and a half. Check that it is not boiling dry, and add water if necessary. This could be on the stove top or in the oven.
- Add the potatoes and carrots over the top, check for water, and simmer over a low heat for another hour. The longer and lower the cooking time, the more tender the meat will be.
I have quite a bit of South Uist Venison in the freezer, so be prepared for some variations on this theme. I made this rich Hungarian stew last night, and it is delicious. It is usually served with dumplings. The key is to stew the onions very slowly, preferably in lard, and to add the paprika fairly late in the proceedings. There will seem to be an unfeasibly large quantity of onions, but don’t worry, this works.
- 60g lard
- 900kg venison, cut into slabs about 1 inch thick, and about the size of half a postcard
- salt and pepper
- 4 onions, chopped (about 750g)
- 2 tsp caraway seed
- 2 tbsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp hot paprika
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 500ml beef stock or venison stock
- 300ml red wine
- Melt the large in a large casserole dish, and brown the venison in batches, and set aside on a dish. You can season the venison as it cooks
- In the same pan, add the onions and caraway seeds, and cook over a medium heat. Stir often and cook until the onions are browned. This might take up to 30 minutes.
- Add the venison, and all of the other ingredients and bring back to a simmer. Cook in the oven at 140C for a couple of hours
- Make your favourite dumplings, if this is your thing. I had mashed potato and celeriac.
- When the stew is done, break up the meat a bit with a pair of forks. Serve with the dumplings and sour cream for those that wish to add it.
Another recipe for sausages, this is very tasty and it can be augmented by adding other ingredients, such as lightly fried liver or kidneys.
- 450g sausages
- cooking fat or vegetable oil
- 150g mushrooms
- 1 scant tbsp flour
- 300ml beef stock
- 100ml red wine
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Fry the sausages in a little oil for up to 20 minutes until they are cooked, and then set aside.
- Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms coarsely, and add them to the pan and fry gently for 3 minutes or so.
- Stir in the flour and cook for another minute or two
- Add the stock, wine and tomato puree, bring to the boil and then simmer for around 5 minutes. Season to taste.
- Pour the sauce into a warm serving dish, add the sausages, any other ingredients as required, and garnish with chopped parsley.
This is good with mashed potatoes, or potato scones.
I have no idea where I got ‘The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook‘ from, but it is now quite battered, and I use it every week. It has a lot of basic recipes, many of which I have used more than once. Every so often, I find another corner I have never visited and there are new treasures.
This time, I was looking to try out recipes for the large numbers of sausages we seem to have stashed in the freezer. I sometimes buy them when they are reduced, freeze them and then forget.
- 450g sausaages
- 25g vegetable oil or cooking fat
- 2 onoins, finely chopped
- 2 rashers of bacon, cut into strips
- 1 heaped teaspoon of plain flour
- 3 tbsp cider
- 300ml stock
- 1 bayleaf
- salt and pepper
- 150g chopped mushrooms
- Chopped parsley to serve
Serve with mashed potatoes and celeriac
- Fry the sausages in cooking fat until they are properly cooked, up to about 20 minutes. Set aside
- In the pan, add the onion and bacon and cook gently for around 5 minutes
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir it in, cooking for another 2 minutes
- Pour in the stock and cider, stir it in and bring it to a simmer.
- Add the bayleaf and sausages, and simmer for around 10 minutes
- Add the chopped mushrooms and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Serve on a bed of mashed potatoes and celeriac, garnished with chopped parsley
I’ve made this recipe a few times, and it is very tasty. It is a useful one-pot meal, and uses some of the less tender cuts of lamb or mutton.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 25g lard, dripping or olive oil
- 8 best end or middle neck lamb chops, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tsp flour
- salt and pepper
- 200ml water
- 1 tsp rosemary (or similar fragrant herbs – try Italian herbs for meat)
- 125g self-raising flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 40g suet
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- a little cold water
- Heat half the fat in a frying pan, and brown the carrots, onions and celery, and put them in the bottom of a casserole dish
- Coat the chops in seasoned flour, and brown in the rest of the fat, and put them on top of the vegetables
- In the frying pan, pour away any excess fat, and then add the tomatoes, water, herbs and salt and pepper, and bring to the boil, scraping in any sticky goodness from the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the meat.
- Cover the casserole, and cook at 180C for 1 1/2 hours
- Make the dumplings. Sift the self-raising flour and salt into a bow, and mix in the shredded suet and parsley. Add cold water very slowly, until you have a soft but not sticky dough.
- Roll the dough into 8 balls. Put them over the top of the hotpot, and cook without a lid for a further 20 minutes until the dumplings are cooked.
If you have a lot of potatoes, this is fine without the dumplings, and served with mash. Next time, I may try slicing potatoes over the top at the start and cooking the whole thing together.
An alternative way of preparing the dumplings: use 125g self raising flour, 125g wholewheat flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 125g shredded suet, 1/4 tsp salt, 7 tbsp mil. Mix together as above, make dumpling balls, and simmer in water or stock, instead of cooking in the stew.
I so very nearly called this post ‘Prehistoric beef and beer stew’ but then thought at least one person might find that too funny to pass up for a joke.
This is one of the recipes from a book called ‘Prehistoric Cooking’ by Jacqui Wood. I picked this one because I was still experimenting with honey from last month’s article. My sister sent me the book, hopefully because she thought I would find it very interesting.
- 500g stewing steak
- 25g wholemeal flour
- 25g butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bunch of sorrel (grows wild, I have some cultivated in the garden)
- 50g honey
- 1 pint of ale
- Cut the meat into 2cm cubes, and dust with the flour
- Fry the meat in the butter until browned. Use a casserole dish with a well-fitting lid.
- Add salt, chopped sorrel, honey and beer.
- Put on the lid of the casserole and cook over a low heat for one and a half hours, until the beef is tender.
For authenticity, serve with wholemeal bread rather than potatoes. Carrots are a good side dish.
Garbure is a thick French soup, almost a stew, based on cabbage and beans with some form of meat and other vegetables, often with bread added. It originated in the south-west of France, around Bearn, the Pyrenees, Gascony and Landes. It may vary from household to household and season to season, depending on what is available. The basic principle behind this dish is the lengthy simmering of an assortment of vegetables and meats, generally meats preserved en confit. As far as vegetables go, anything is possible. The cabbage may be accompanied by any kind of beans, potatoes, turnips, celeriac, kohl rabi, nettle tops, borrage, leaf beet, beetroot, in fact just about anything that can be grown in the area.
I started with an enormous home-grown cabbage. I didn’t use all of it; this cabbage weighs more than an average baby, and is about the size of a basket ball. I just shaved off about a quarter of it.One word of warning: this involved a lot of chopping and I used a very large pan.
- 1 small cabbage (or part of a larger one), coarsely shredded
- 3 tbsp goose fat
- 2 carrots, diced, or use celeriac
- 1 turnip, diced, or use kohl rabi
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 large leek, split lengthways into quarters and then chopped
- Parsley, thyme, bayleaves
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- A good pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2.3 litres of stock or water
- 1 can of borlotti beans (you could use any sort of bean, especially canellini beans.
- 350g potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 250g butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and cubed.
- 1 serving of meat per person, for example ham hough, sausage, confit of duck or goose. If you cooked the hough yourself, use the stick in the soup.
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the cabbage, simmer for ten minutes and then drain well.
- In a large soup pan, heat the goose fat and add the carrots, celery, turnips, onion and leeks, and stew very slowly for fifteen minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the drained cabbage, and cook for another ten minutes
- Add herbs, salt, cayenne and the stock, then stir in the beans, potatoes and pumpkin and cook, uncovered, at a very slow simmer for around 40 minutes. You may need to top up with water as required.
- Submerge the meat in the soup and continue to cook for another thirty minutes.
- To serve, line each bowl with a slice of home-made bread, ladle the soup over the bread, and top with a portion of meat.
There are other versions, which include cloves, or garlic, or other ingredients. You can make the base soup, cool before the step where the meat is added. Then, when you need to, reheat what you need.