The very first time I had rabbit was actually at Grossi Florentino and it was absolutely delicious. One Saturday I just decided that cooking a bunny was in order so I perused through all my food books and settled on something vaguely resembling Stephanie Alexander’s Country Rabbit in a Claypot.
I never cooked rabbit before so I figured surely one cannot screw up a casserole and went with that choice. Which turned out to be a rather good one (if I may say so myself). Our local butcher sold whole free-range rabbits, which she kindly jointed for me (very loudly with a huge cleaver, might I add. Josh commented, ‘Bunny definitely dead now’).
- 1 farmed rabbit (about 800 g.)
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
Start by making a paste from the ingredients above (minus the rabbit of course) and then coat the rabbit pieces with it. Leave to marinade while you prepare other things.
(fryin, not boiling, the bunny)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely diced (reserve peel)
- 1 carrot, sliced into chunks (reserve peel)
- 100 g. of smoked bacon (I used kaiser but try pancetta or any smoked bacon)
- 8 pickling (small) onions
- 12 small button mushrooms (leave whole, or halved)
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked
- 2 fresh (or dried) bay leaves
- 1/2 litre of boiling water
- carrot peel
- pumpkin peel (from the pumpkin and sweet potato mash puree
- sweet potato peel
- 2 tsp of Vegeta gourmet stock powder (or your favourite)
- 4 pieces of dried porcini
- rosemary stalks
(simmering the stock)
Start by heating up a bit of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the rabbit pieces on all sides until browned. Be careful not to dislodge the marinade. Set the meat aside in a casserole dish and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Pour the pan juice onto the rabbit pieces.
Meanwhile, heat up a knob of butter in a frying pan and slowly fry the chopped onion and diced carrot with some garlic and rosemary. Add the bacon and cook on medium heat until the bacon mixture slight lycoloured. Place the bacon and onion mixture on top of the rabbit pieces in the casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 160’C. Put the casserole dish in it to keep warm while making the stock.
Pour the stock ingredients onto the frying pan that was just used for the bacon and simmer the stock ingredients for 5 minutes. Pick out the bay leaf and add to the rabbit. Add the pickling onions. Strain the stock and pour it onto the casserole dish. Cover and cook for an hour.
After an hour, add the mushrooms, carrot slices and the rest of the rosemary leaves. Cook for another hour.
Serve with mashed pumpkin and sweet potato.
I declare my bunny experiment a success!