Food and drink

Rabbit, spinach and carrot casserole

Ooh look, a post about food. A recipe nonetheless! Yes I am still cooking, but since my wee girl arrived I’ve found us falling back on tried and tested dishes or quick and easy meals by necessity, instead of anything new which I could write up for the blog. Now she’s fast approaching her first birthday though we’re starting to make a bit more space for old hobbies or taking more time over meals at weekends. Especially if it’s something she can try eating herself!

We had a whole rabbit in our freezer for a couple of months and the Sunday after Hogmanay seemed like a good time for a low and slow winter stew. The bunny was taken out the day before to defrost then I put together this simple casserole with some leftover festive carrots and a handful of frozen spinach (if you don’t have a bag of frozen spinach in your freezer go to the shops and get some, it’s brilliant for chucking in stews or pimping instant noodles, ready made curries and soups). Cooking the rabbit on the bone means not a single bit of meat is wasted and it turns out there’s a surprising amount of it on wee thumper! We got two large dinner portions out of this and there was enough leftover for another two small servings or one big lunch serving (which came to work with me on the Tuesday).

You don’t have to go to a lot of effort to joint it nice and neat. Mine was just cut into quarters and then once the rabbit was cooked I fished out the quarters, slid the meat off the bones and returned it to the pot along with the frozen spinach for the last bit of cooking. Easy.

We gave Chloe a bit to try and she loved it, as did one of our cats. The other one wasn’t interested at all but you can’t please everyone.

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Serves 3-4

1 Rabbit, quartered
3 Balls of frozen spinach
3 Carrots, chopped into large chunks
500ml Chicken stock
1 Sprig Rosemary
Handful of fresh thyme
1 Glass of red wine
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove of garlic, chopped
Worcestershire sauce
Plain flour

Pre-heat the oven to 160C or gas mark 5
Dust the rabbit in some seasoned plain flour and fry off the quarters in a casserole dish until browned, then take them out and leave to one side.
Gently fry the onions until soft then add the garlic and carrots.
Once you can smell the garlic, raise the heat and deglaze the dish with the wine.
Add a large splash of Worcestershire sauce and then return the rabbit to the pot.
Pour in the stock, add the rosemary and thyme then cover the dish and put it in the oven.
Leave to cook for at least an hour and a half then remove from the oven and fish out the rabbit quarters.
Strip the meat from the rabbit bones and place it back into the casserole along with the frozen spinach.
Return to the oven for 20 minutes then remove the lid and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Serve with mashed tatties or big chunks of crusty bread.

Food and drink

Improvised venison and hazelnut spaghetti

A while ago we were given a present of some venison lorne sausage. Normally I’d try to avoid the square sausage as an evil weegie creation that most people should avoid at all costs. Like Rangers fans. But as this was a gift I thought I’d give it a go and a bit of improvisation was in order. Continue reading “Improvised venison and hazelnut spaghetti”

Food and drink

Potatoes Dauphinoise

Potatoes Dauphinoise… sounds difficult doesn’t it? This is a classic French dish after all so I don’t expect it’s easy. At least that’s what I thought. It makes regular appearances on Masterchef and various other haughty food programmes. It must take skill or they wouldn’t do it?

Actually no. Basically it seems all you do is slice up some tatties then pour some cream over them before sticking them in the oven for 45 minutes. Couldn’t be much easier in fact. Continue reading “Potatoes Dauphinoise”

Food and drink

Roast cod with parma ham

What a couple of weeks its been. Redundancy, leaving nights out (or day as it turned out) and then starting a new job have meant the last wee while’s been pretty chaotic. Still things are calming down now and a week of sunny weather put me in the mood for some sunny food on Friday.

When I first started cooking one of the first things I made for other people was roast cod wrapped in parma ham. It was from a fantastic cheap book full of about 400 recipes using only 3 or 4 ingredients (store cupboard essentials not included). As a learning resource this book was fantastic for a lazy fat man getting started with proper cooking. It taught me basic techniques, what foods work together etc. Now I’m further along my culinary journey I dusted down the book to try an old favourite again. Continue reading “Roast cod with parma ham”

Recipe

Haggis, neeps and barley risotto – when good ideas go bad

It all started because Oliver at Salad Days, Offal Nights made a St George risotto using English ingredients (which seemed to contain mostly leeks!?). That’s a good idea I thought so I started thinking about a St Andrews version.

Neeps (swedes) would work quite well with the barley and my first thought was to roast some small joint of lamb or venison to go with the risotto. Then I remembered about the haggis in the freezer. Continue reading “Haggis, neeps and barley risotto – when good ideas go bad”

Food and drink

Lamb Chops in Rosemary Gravy

Ah lamb. I love lamb. Tragically, I don’t get to eat nearly enough of it but a recent knee injury has resulted in a couple of my evenings being freed from the iron grip of training. So instead of beans on toast twice a week, I’ve got more time to do something a bit more substantial.

As on those nights when I’m away we do our own thing for tea anyway I don’t feel like I’m being especially unsociable by using last night’s opportunity to cook a couple of lamb chops. Continue reading “Lamb Chops in Rosemary Gravy”