Now that Linn B Halton has been kind enough to share my recipe and recommend my blog, I thought I’d re-post this to make it easier to see – got a bit buried in the list there.
I’m so grateful to her for sharing, I guess if you write, you like to be read, and she’s helped bring a wider audience, which makes me want to write more! So thank you Linn for your generosity of spirit and taking the time to help people like me. It is very much appreciated.
Posted on October 8, 2013 by A Gypsie’s Wife
This is a good recipe when the boys have been hunting. My husband would just roast them on a stick over the fire, often under the hedge – which is nice – but this is a good feed too. I’ve been serving this dish for more than 25 years, now, and it remains a family favourite. I used to make it with farm rabbits and it is worth noting that the bunnies in the wild have much tougher back legs. The saddle and the front ones are fine. Young rabbits are tender and old bucks are not. So skin, gut and joint the rabbit into back legs, front legs and saddle cut in two. That’s six pieces, and I can eat at least three, so if you have hungry hunters to feed, they’d better bring a few home. Keep the livers and kidneys to add at the end of cooking. You can add the heads to the pot for extra flavour if you’re not squeamish. Warm some clarified butter in a good heavy fireproof dish or pan and brown the joints all over. It’s worth taking the time to do this thoroughly, because all the caramelised meat juice adds to the colour of the dish. When your rabbit is brown, remove the joints and keep to one side. Add finely diced onion and a couple of crushed cloves of garlic and keep on a gentle heat until translucent. Add a small glass of dry white wine or splash of vermouth and scrape up all the rabbit juice. Add a small amount of chicken stock – probably to the depth of about one to two inches in the bottom of the pot – and season, adding some herbs. Oregano, thyme, tarragon are all candidates to choose from, but not too many, this is not meant to be a very robust dish. Put the rabbit back in. The rabbit pieces will be adding their own juice as they steam in this liquor and the dish benefits from the more intense flavour if it’s not swimming. I would cook this on a gentle heat for about an hour and a half, checking for a gentle simmer and from time to time give the pot a good shake and swirl to make sure all the joints get in the juice. At this stage add the smallest button mushrooms you can find. Allow about 6 – 8 per person so you don’t swamp the flavour. Actually, the small cans of whole button mushrooms are good for this dish, because they are really juicy but blander. I’m sure that wild mushrooms would be good, but I can’t buy them and I’m too ignorant on the subject to dare to forage for them. This is when you add the liver and kidneys too – just lay them on the top of the meat and cook on for a half hour or so, until all is tender. If you find, on tasting that the sauce is bland then turn up the heat a little and cook with the lid off or crossed until the sauce is reduced. Take your rabbit out if is already cooked and add it back when you have the sauce to the right intensity. I serve this with creamed potato, or it’s fantastic with fresh done, thin cut, homemade chips. The boys’ll just eat it with their fingers, sopping bread in the sauce if I let them. Sometimes I do insist on a knife and fork, though