Summer rabbit casserole recipe for the slow cooker/crock potPosted by Fiona Nevile in Pheasant and Game | 5 comments
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
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
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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