I’m always a happy bunny when the guy from Mortlach Game appears at the farmer’s market with some rabbits. I don’t understand why we rarely see them in supermarkets and butcher shops in the UK. When we were in France in the summer the meat counter had a lovely display of rabbits, skinned and laid out front and centre of the cabinet. You never see that over here. Instead in the heart of one of the most important game regions in Scotland our local Tesco only has chicken, beef, lamb and pork. Great.
Anyway here’s yet another Stephane Reynaud inspired recipe. Sorry but I’m a little bit obsessed with his books! It’s important to not let the rabbit dry out too much. So make sure the bacon is nice and fatty. I think the best bit about this dish was the gravy. With all that garlic, shallots and herbs the resulting gravy was glorious!
It took me ages to remember how to joint a rabbit but once you figure it out it’s pretty easy. You should put every bit into the roasting tin, even the bits you won’t eat like the ribs. It’s all extra flavour! I threw in the livers as well but they weren’t going to waste. Although a bit overcooked at the end of the roasting they w still a tasty wee bite.
For another extra treat pick out the roasted bits of garlic from the bulb and squeeze out the sweet, sweet shallots from their skins after everything’s cooked to serve with the rabbit.
1 rabbit, jointed
4 shallots, skin on
1 garlic bulb, cut in half
6 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
2 sprigs rosemary
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp herbs de provence
1 tbsp mixed pepper
1 glass of white wine
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
Place a roasting tin on a medium-high heat and brown the rabbit pieces, shallots, garlic and rosemary in some oil.
Add the pepper, herbs and fennel then roast the rabbit in the oven for 25 mins.
Remove from the oven and lay the bacon over the top of the rabbit.
Lower the heat to 160C and put the rabbit back in the oven for another 20 mins until the bacon is crisp.
Take the rabbit out of the dish and leave it somewhere warm.
Place the roasting dish back on a medium heat and deglaze with the white wine – scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the sauce for a few minutes then stir in the butter to thicken it.
Serve with the rabbit and some roast potatoes.