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Summer rabbit casserole recipe for the slow cooker/crock pot

Rabbit slow cooked with Mediterranean vegetables

Rabbit slow cooked with Mediterranean vegetables

A few years ago Danny and I went to stay in the Cinque Terra in Italy. This is in Liguria and the five towns are seaside or clinging to hillside near the coast. This is a great region for walking and farming. We’d watch the walkers leave as we enjoyed our breakfast and return when we were lifting the first glass of the evening.

We were staying in a small town called Monte Rosso. A beautiful old fashioned seaside place with a truly sleepy feel. Despite this it was packed with good restaurants and shops selling foodie delights. We’d guzzle fresh bread, tomatoes sliced with Mozarella and a drizzle of olive oil for lunch. We walked but with a mission. We were concentrating on finding the best restaurants in which to eat each evening.

It was in Monte Rosso that Danny lost a crown from his tooth when tackling wild boar and I had the best haircut ever from a little backstreet salon. Back in the UK, D’s dental bill was outrageously large but he maintains to this day that the wild boar was almost worth it. One day I plan to return to Monte Rosso and have my hair cut again.

On the Wild Boar Night I ordered rabbit. Flavoursome and comforting. All that a slow cooked rabbit dish could be.

Here in the UK rabbits are a cheap organic, free range meat option for foodies on a budget. You do have to know someone who shoots or a good butcher with access to a reliable supply. Sometimes I see rabbit for sale in Waitrose – but it is very expensive. Our butcher sells two rabbits, dressed and ready to cook for a fiver. In the winter these are frozen but still very tasty. They are shot on the studs that surround the village.

Knowing the source is the key if you want to eat good game.

Last week I was all set to cook our best rabbit recipe . Then my mind slipped back to the cosy bistros in Monte Rosso. Why not try and create a dish that we might have been offered in one of the bistros in this seaside town? Surely rabbit could have a summery taste – the mild yet gamey flavour of the rabbit combined with the softness of Mediterranean vegetables and a hint of spicy salami. I didn’t have any Italian salami to hand so I rapidly crossed continents to Spain and added Chorizo.

The result was excellent. Deep flavours and juices that cried out for crusty bread for dunking.  Danny was delighted and by chewing carefully avoided any further dental work this time.

Summer rabbit casserole recipe for the slow cooker/crock pot

Ingredients:

1 rabbit cut into four chunky portions
4 tbsp of plain flour
I small red onion (skinned and chopped small)
100g of celery (destrung and sliced very fine)
250g of Chantenay carrots (topped and tailed)
200g of red bell pepper (deseeded and chopped)
2 x400g of tinned tomatoes
2 chunky garlic cloves (chopped fine)
1 tsp of dried savoury or thyme
1 tsp of Lea and Perrins sauce
1 tsp of anchovy sauce
100g of chorizo (skinned and chopped fine)
500ml of hot vegetable stock – I used 2 tsp of Marigold vegetable bouillon powder
Lashings of freshly ground white pepper at the end

Method:
Roll the rabbit pieces in the flour and set the rabbit and the remaining flour aside.
Prepare the vegetables and place in the bottom of the slow cooker/crock pot. Sprinkle over the remaining flour and stir very well.
Add the garlic, savoury/thyme and stir well.
Sprinkle over the Lea and Perrins and anchovy sauce.
Add the chorizo and stir well.
Place the rabbit quarters on top of the vegetables.
Pour over the hot stock and stir to make sure that it has reached the base of the slow cooker.
Set the knob to auto and cook for 4-5 hours. If you don’t have an auto knob set to high for an hour – it should be bubbling by then and switch to low for 3-4 hours. The rabbit should be falling off the bones. Just before serving season to taste. Forget black pepper – lots of ground white pepper goes very well with this dish.
Serve with hot crusty bread and ideally a crisp side salad. Prepare for gushing applause.

 


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5 Comments

  1. mandi

    I had never eaten rabbit and neither had my hubby so about 6 months ago I found www.woldsway.co.uk an online supplier of wild or farmed rabbit.
    It arrived in a cool box by special delivery on the required day I asked for it to be delivered to be cooked for our anniversary as a treat.
    I would use them again if I couldn’t find rabbit in a local butchers and liked the idea of feeding rabbit to cats and dogs instead of canned processed animal foods.
    Maybe I will order some more and try your recipe.
    The only draw back is that the delivery is very expensive so its worth bulk buying up to the 20kg to get the most out of the postage. All rabbit is freezable on receipt it says so you haven’t got to eat rabbit for a week or invite the whole street.

  2. Pamela

    I have eaten rabbit in the past in Spain in particular but it isn’t something I think of eating very often. Not sure why though. I have, however, been eating wild boar steaks as my butcher on the market sells a steak for £1. An absolute steal as the meat is delicious and quite porky but very lean. I am going to slice and stir fry my wild boar tonight, although the veg prep will be slowed somewhat by the large bandage on my right thumb, having sliced the side off it when I was slicing the carrot for last night’s stir fry. It was still bleeding when I re-dressed it mid-morning today!

    I also found out this morning that I am currently 20th on the allotment list! I joined the list in August 2007 and they think I’ll have another 5 or 6 years until I get to the top of the list. I told him by that time I will be crippled with arthritis and unable to work an allotment anyway.

  3. Jono / Real Men Sow

    Thanks Fiona, will definitely be trying this.

    Am lucky enough to get given a regular supply of rabbit from a farmer friend. I absolutely love it, my favourite meat.

    Apparently it is great for you if you have high cholesterol (like all game) as it is very lean.

  4. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    Having spent a fair bit of time in Italy gaining our Gelatiere Advanced Professional qualification this year we have been very frustrated at how readily available this wonderful meat is, in Italy. It is lean, organic, & delicious: so why not more popular/readily available, in the UK?

    Also goat meat is regularly on Italian menus: being so much leaner, healthier & more tasty than lamb why on earth don’t we see more of it here?

    Have we lost so much of our wartime “fighting spirit” that we swoon at anything not conveniently shrinkwrapped & sent into “food anonymity” in a supermarket these days?

    Shame on us; as an apparently meat-loving nation.

    Go into any continental supermarket & you’ll realise just how pathetic our outlets are: wonderful fruit, veggies, cheeses, meats, pastas, REAL fresh-baked breads etc etc etc, in abundance.

    We are literally starved here in the UK – I’m serious.

    This should not be the case: & yet we panic when the eruption of an Icelandic volcano means we cannot immediately buy stringy, tired green beans from Kenya or pathetically watery, tasteless strawberries from the massive aerial plastic bag that has become Holland; for a few days.

    It’s so sad.

    Incidentally whilst a shopping trip in any continental market or even – dare I say it, compared with our own ‘supermarket’ is a genuine feast for the foodie senses, we should also advise it is not for the fait-hearted: generally if you buy even a chicken from the supermarket don’t expect to find it dressed as you would in “Tosco”; most probably it will have the head & feet attached & of course, the gizzards readily available: all for delicious gravy, pate or whatever.

    As they should be. :0)

  5. Love rabbit-gamey and tender.My local butcher sells it for £3/wild rabbit jointed.This is a new recipe for me.Best one so far is cooked with seasonal veg and red wine.Have an Iranian menu to try invoving spices,yoghourt and barbecue.
    Can only agree with the post from Jo of LittleFarm Dairy. Always remember the markets in Bibao and Toulouse.Clean,bright and stuffed to the gills with stuff Tosco wouldn’t entertain

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