Rabbit is not something I have eaten often, not because I dislike it, but because it never seems to be available. I first tried it in whilst in China, slow-cooked in a steamy broth with with spices like star anise and cinnamon. Mark recently found a butcher in Stones Corner that sells goat and rabbit, and I picked up a whole frozen rabbit. I had to teach myself to joint it, thanks to the nifty youtube video below (including using a piece of 4×2 to, to save my rolling pin from getting damaged). This makes enough for four, but we saved half to make rabbit pies later in the week. This recipe is by Caroline Velik.
- olive oil - 2 tbs
- rabbit - 1, jointed into 6 pieces
- celery - 2 stalks, finely chopped
- carrot - 2, finely chopped
- brown onion - 2, finely chpped
- garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- beef stock - 500ml
- tomato passata - 500ml
- bay leaf - 2
- oregano - fresh, 1 sprig
- thyme - fresh, 1 sprig
- green olives - 1 cup, pitted and roughly chopped
- salt flakes -
- black pepper - cracked
- pappardelle pasta - fresh, 1kg
- flat-leaf parsley - fresh, to garnish
Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in heavy-based, oven-proof pot. Add the rabbit pieces and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until well softened. Return the rabbit pieces to the pot, then add stock, tomato sugo, herbs and olives and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and place in oven. Cook for 1½ hours. Remove from oven, take the rabbit pieces out of the pot and shred the meat roughly. Remove and discard all bones. Return the meat to the pot and stir through the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil and cook pasta for a few minutes, until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, then toss the drained pasta through the ragu. Garnish with parsley and serve.
This makes a large quantity. Keep the leftover in the fridge or freezer to whip out at a later date for an instant meal with minimal fuss, or make a rabbit pie. Fresh pasta cooks in next to no time. Make your own pappardelle by cutting fresh lasagne sheets into thick strips with a sharp knife.