Braised Rabbit with pappardelle

I have a source of rabbit at the moment, so I am getting to try out a stash of rabbit recipes. We had this at the weekend and it was spectacular. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • 100g smoked pancetta
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary, strip off the leaves and chop
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • salt and pepper
  • 150ml white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 5 portions of pasta e.g. pappardelle, tagliatelle
  • 1 tsp bitter marmalade
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 100ml double cream
  • a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • grated parmesan

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a casserole dish, and brown the rabbit joints in stages, and set aside. 
  • In the same pan/oil fry the onion, bacon and carrot together over a low heat until soft. Add the garlic, rosemary and tomato puree and cook for another couple of minutes
  • Pour in the wine, stock and add the rabbit, with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Cover and simmer for an hour, until the rabbit is tender and coming off the bone. You may need to simmer for longer than an hour, depending on how tender the rabbit is. 
  • Remove the rabbit from the pan, and let it cool. Shred the meat from the bone. 
  • Meanwhile, keep the heat under the pan to reduce the sauce for five minutes or so. 
  • Put the pasta water on to boil, and start cooking the pasta according to the instructions. 
  • Add the meat back into the sauce along with the mustard, cream, parsley and marmalade, and stir to heat through and mix. Check the seasoning. 
  • When the pasta is done, add it to the sauce, stir to mix and serve with grated parmesan. 

A note on quantities of pasta. For a very hungry busy person, allow up to 100g. We usually find that 50g of pasta is plenty for one person. 

Rabbit risotto with olives

More rabbit recipes. This one is from Risotto Risotto by Valentina Harris. There are some risotto basics that crop up. Adding the ingredients one by one, and letting them cook together allows the flavours to build. Many of the meat risottos involve making a rich stew, and then adding the risotto rice and the stock, bit by bit. 

I allow around 60g risotto rice per serving, and multiply by 3 to get the volume of stock in ml. For example, for 100g rice, use 300ml stock. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 rabbit, jointed and rinsed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g chopped pancetta or streaky bacon
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 glass red wine
  • around 20 small black olives, chopped. 
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 1.2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock, simmering 

METHOD:

  • Fry the onion, celery, pancetta and parsley in the olive oil over a low heat, until the onion is soft
  • Add the rabbit and brown it all over. 
  • Mix the tomato puree and wine together, and stir it in, with the olives, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer over a low heat or cook in a low oven for an hour and a half, until the rabbit is really tender. Add stock to ensure that the stew does not stick or dry out. 
  • Let the stew cool, and strip the rabbit meat from the bones. Cut larger sections of meat into pieces the size of a walnut. Return to the stew and bring it back to a simmer
  • Add all of the rice, and stir to coat all the grains. Cook over a gentle heat, and add the stock a ladleful at a time, Make sure the rice absorbs the stock before adding the next ladleful.
  • After about 20 minutes the rice will be cooked. Remove the risotto from the heat, and let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving. 

Rabbit and chorizo stew

If you need a tasty dish for rabbit, look no further. I found it useful to have a mouli for the sauce. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • Approx 200g raw chorizo sausages
  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, or home grown tomatoes
  • 4 colves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 pointed red peppers, halved and grilled to char the skin
  • 200 ml light stock (chicken, vegetable or rabbit)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD:

  • In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the olive oil to a low/moderate heat. Fry the chorizo until the fat runs. Remove it from the pan, and set aside.
  • Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, and fry until browned on all sides, around 5 minutes
  • Put the tomatoes, garlic and paprika in a blender and blitz. Then put the mixture through a mouli to get rid of any seeds. 
  • Add the tomato sauce to the rabbit in the pan, bring to a simmer, and reduce the sauce over a low heat for around 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the charred skin from the peppers, chop them roughly, and add them to the pan, along with the chorizo and stock, and bring back to a simmer.
  • Cover the pan and cook slowly for around an hour, until the rabbit is falling from the bone. Strip the meat from the bones, and put it back into the stew. 
  • Just before serving, mix the parsley, lemon and olive oil and drizzle over the stew. 

I’m not sure what you are meant to serve this with, we had potatoes. 

Rabbit with aubergines

I have been given some fresh local tender rabbits to cook, and I’m very excited. I don’t have many go-to recipes for rabbit, so I am trying some out. I’m hoping to get more and try out a Spanish recipe that uses chorizo. This time I went with an Italian vibe.

INGREDIENTS:

  •  1 rabbit, cut into five (2 front legs, 2 back legs, one saddle)
  • 30g butter
  • 30g pancetta or diced streaky bacon
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram, or a handful of fresh marjoram
  • Salt and pepper
  • A glass of dry sherry, or Marsala wine
  • Water or stock
  • A small aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes, set in a colander and salted
  • One red sweet pepper, or a pimento for preference, sliced into strips

METHOD:

  • Heat the butter in the bottom of a braising pan or shallow casserole dish. Fry the bacon and the celery together.
  • As the fat starts to run from the bacon, add the rabbit to the pan and turn the pieces over to let them brown. 
  • Add the tomatoes, chopped garlic, marjoram and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, before adding the Marsala. Bring back to a simmer and reduce by half. 
  • Add water or stock so that the rabbit is just about covered, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around half an hour.
  • Rinse the salted aubergine, and add to the top of the pan. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes, and then add the sliced red pepper. Cook for another ten minutes. 

We served this with potatoes, because we have a lot of them. I would think that polenta would be an excellent accompaniment. 

Venison and coconut curry

We had had venison the other night, and so I made this curry with the left-overs. The original recipe uses venison fillet from a roe or sika deer, but the venison we had was of a more formidable cut. We had pot-roasted it, and so I diced up the remains and hijacked a few other recipes for ideas. I also used up a few bits from the depths of the fridge. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, or other vegetable oil
  • 2 small red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500g diced cooked venison
  • 200ml coconut water
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • grated zest and juice of one lime
  • 4 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 50g ginger root, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves, or 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder (I used Kashmiri chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground star anise or 2 star anise 
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 50g tomato puree

METHOD:

  • I use an old coffee grinder attachment with my blender to grind up spice mixes, but a pestle and mortar will do the job. In the spice grinder, grind together the fennel, salt, cumin, cloves, ground star anise (if this is what you have) and garam masala. Add the chopped ginger and the garlic, and grind again. Then add the tomato paste and mix well. 
  • Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and fry the onion with the whole star anise and the cinnamon. Fry over a medium heat for five to ten minutes, until it is begining to brown. Add the spice mixture and continue frying for another couple of minutes 
  • Add the meat and continue frying for another couple of minutes, until it is hot, and then add the coconut water, coconut milk, lime juice and lime zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the meat is hot through, around another five minutes. 

This is good with plain white rice. 

Wild goose chilli

It is goose season again. For those of you that live in the Outer Hebrides, you’ll know that the islands are infested with greylag geese, beautiful wild birds that flock here and eat the grass on the machair, pulling it by the roots. The numbers are not really in control at all, so we are glad to have a few to eat now and again. 

This time, I made a goose chilli. I used my excellent and efficient meat grinder to make coarsly ground mince from two goose breasts. I also used some chipotle chillis that I had got from seasoned pioneers. This is delicious. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 goose breasts, minced
  • 1 can of borlotti beans
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp crushed chipotle 
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • water to moisten
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste. 

METHOD:

  • Fry the sliced onion in the oil, stirring, for at least five minutes, so that it is beginning to brown. 
  • Add the sliced garlic, and stir for a minute, then add the rest of the spices, and the mince. Stir and cook so that the mince is looking browned. 
  • Add the tomatoes and the beans, and enough water to moisten the mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook for an hour, adding water if required to stop it from sticking. I have a habit of reading when I am at this stage, I give it all a stir at the end of each chapter. 
  • Season to taste – I used a couple of good pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper

Serve with soured cream and flat breads.

Loin of venison with rosemary and thyme

We were given some very tender loin of venison from a sika deer. Sika deer are a non-native species that have become widespread across the UK, interbreeding with our native species, red deer and roe deer. They pose a threat to the native populations. 

This recipe is from Norman Tebbit’s book of game cookery.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Around 500g venison loin, divided into portions
  • Vegetable oil (not olive oil)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 6 juniper berries
  • a small teaspoon of sea-salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

  • Mix the herbs, juniper berries, salt and pepper in a pestle and mortar, and grind together. 
  • Sprinkle the herbs onto the meat and set aside until needed. Heat the oven to 180C.
  • About ten minutes before you are ready to eat, heat the oil in a large frying pan until it is good and hot. Sear the meat on all sides, and put into a small roasting tin.
  • Cook in the oven for around 8 minutes, while you sort out the vegetables and mash. When the time is up, remove from the oven and allow the meat to relax.
  • Slice the venison and serve on warmed plates. We had mashed potato, Cumberland sauce, spinach and tender-stem broccoli. 

Wild goose Jamaican style

The flavour of wild goose goes well with peppers. This spicy stew is adapted from a recipe for beef stew from ‘Original Flava’

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 goose breasts, around 450g meat, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp scotch bonnet pepper paste
  • 150ml stock
  • 150ml Guinness or other stout
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 large carrots, thickly sliced
  • 250g baby potatoes, cleaned. Cut large potatoes into chunks. 

METHOD:

  • Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a plastic container with the diced goose breasts, salt and pepper, the allspice and soy sauce and mix together. Leave in the fridge overnight. 
  • In the morning, stir in 1 tbsp flour, and let that soak up any spare liquid. 
  • Heat olive oil in a casserole pan, and fry the meat until it is browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. 
  • If necessary, add another splash of oil and fry the onion, garlic and peppers until they are really soft. 
  • Add the Guinness and stir, to get anything stuck from the bottom of the pot mixed in. 
  • Add the beef, beef stock, scotch bonnet paste, thyme and simmer for around 1 1/2 hours. I do this in a low oven, around 150C.
  • Add the potatoes and carrots, and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are cooked. 

Serve with white rice. The first time of trying, I added extra potatoes and didn’t add the rice, and it was a full meal in one pot. 

Sika venison loin – ‘Wellington’

I am lucky. I know someone who had some extremely high-quality sika venison available, and I got a couple of cuts. One cut was a lovely 450g  piece of meat, the loin. Sika deer are smaller than our red deer, but in evolutionary terms, are quite similar. They are originally from Japan and neighbouring countries in the far east, and are an introduced species in Europe. 

I made this dish based on a recipe from Gordon Ramsey, adapted to suit. Remember to take your time, as the ingredients need to be chilled and resting in between bouts of cooking. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 450g sika loin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • around 400g mushrooms
  • 50g butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 glass dry white wine
  • Salt, pepper, a grate of nutmeg
  • 2 packs of prosciutto, around 10 to 12 slices
  • 320g jus-rol rolled puff pastry (one pack)
  • 1 egg, beaten, or one egg yolk beaten with a little water

METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 220C
  • While it is heating, put the meat on a roasting tray, brush with olive oil, and season with pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes
  • Chop the mushrooms to your preferred texture, 
  • Heat 50g butter with 2 tbsp olive oil, add the thyme and the mushrooms and fry gently for around 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. 
  • Add seasoning, and the white wine, and cook until the wine has been absorbed. Don’t worry if the mixture seems loose, the venison needs a little oil. Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove the thyme and set to cool a little. 
  • On a clean linen cloth or clingfilm, lay out the prosciutto so that it is about double thickness, overlapped and about the length of the venison. Spread the cool fried mushrooms over the prosciutto and then place the venison on top. Use the cloth or cling-film to roll up the venison inside the prosciutto, and to tighten the parcel together. Put this in the fridge to rest. 
  • Take out the pastry, lay it out on the paper it came wrapped in, and use a rolling-pin to neaten it up. Unravel the venison/prosciutto parcel and place it along one side of the pastry, so that there is space to fold the pastry over the top. Think of a giant Cornish pasty. Before you fold over, brush the bare pastry and the top and sides of the venison parcel. Fold the pastry over, press and crimp to seal the edges, and transfer back to the roasting tray. Brush the surface with the egg wash, and use the back of a knife to mark diagonal scores along the pastry.  Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 200C. Cook the Wellington for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to stand for around 10 minutes before slicing into thick portions.

We served this with celeriac and potato mash, and garden carrots simmered in a little white wine, butter and thyme. 

Hot Lightning with rabbit

This is a recipe introduced to me by one of my daughters, thanks to one of her boyfriends. I believe it is Dutch in origin. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 local wild rabbits, skinned and gutted
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 60g butter
  • 60ml water
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 apples (Braeburn or similar)
  • 8 potatoes (general cooking variety)
  • more butter and/or cream
  • 1 egg
  • nutmeg

METHOD:

  • Set the oven to 160C
  • Mix the rabbit with garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Put it in a roasting tray with butter and water and cover with tin foil. Bake in the oven until tender, about an hour. Take the tin foil off and bake for another ten minutes or so.  
  • When the rabbit is cool enough, strip off the meat, and put it into an oven-safe dish
  • Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes and apples. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and just cover with water, and season with salt. Cover with a layer of apples, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Strain off most of the water, and roughly mash the apples and potatoes together, with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and an egg, butter and/or cream to taste. 
  • Put the mashed potatoes over the rabbit meat, heat through in the oven for around 10 minutes before serving.

I think adding bacon is allowed.