Game, MeatAlison Lambert

Game, MeatAlison Lambert

This Spanish inspired recipe for rabbit, is light and perfectly in tune with Spring. It is finished off with sherry vinegar, pine nuts and golden raisin's, which lifts the flavours in the dish. I suggest serving this dish with plenty of good quality bread, as there is a definite need to soak up all those delicious juices.



CONEJO AGRIDULCE - SWEET AND SOUR RABBIT
Serves 4-6

2 rabbits,
80ml olive oil
500g baby onions, peeled and left whole
500g French shallots, peeled and left whole
350ml white wine
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1cm rounds
4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
Rind of 2 lemons, into large strips no pith
30g pine nuts
70g golden raisins
3 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Method
It is time to practise your knife skills here as you are needing to portion the rabbit. Firstly you will need a heavy knife or cleaver, cut off the hind and fore legs of each rabbit. Cut the back legs into three pieces (the lower leg, the thigh with the bone, and the thigh without the bone). The part of the body nearest the head makes very bony eating, so trim off the lest few centimetres, including the neck, and discard or reserve for stock. Cut the saddle (middle piece) into 4-5 equal pieces across the spine.
Heat the olive oil in a very large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Brown the rabbit in batches for 3-5 minutes on each side, seasoning to taste as you go. Remove from the pan and set aside, then reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the onions and shallots and cook, shaking the pan frequently, or 10 minutes or until deep golden.
Stir in the wine using a wooden spoon, scraping up any cooked-on bits from the bottom of the pan Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the herbs, carrot, potatoes, lemon rind and enough water to nearly cover the rabbit. Cover with a cartouche (piece of baking paper cut into round the same circumference as the pan), then reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 1 hour.
Remove the cartouche, then sprinkle the pine nuts, sultanas, vinegar, sugar and paprika over the rabbit and shake them into the juices. Put the cartouche back on and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve the rabbit with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the juices.