Serves 2 – 4
One rabbit cut into joints, you can get your butcher to do this for you or simply:
- Remove the front legs (good for stock, but they have very little meat on them)
- Remove the back legs (these can be cooked whole or boned)
- Remove the belly meat from the body
- Remove the saddle meat from the back and then strip the sinew from the saddle
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 small onions, cut into quarters
2 sticks Celery, finely sliced
1/2 pint of good chicken stock
6 streaky rashers of bacon cut into small pieces
1 glass of dry white wine
Olive oil and butter for frying
Salt and pepper
100g plain flour, seasoned
2 Bay leaves
1 small bunch of Thyme, washed and stripped from the stalk.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
- Mix the flour, some salt and pepper together in a plastic food bag. Coat the rabbit pieces with this mixture and lay to one side.
- Put a generous splash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a big frying pan and heat it until the butter is melted.
- Fry the floured rabbit pieces in the oil until they are browned. Don’t worry if they get a little darker in some places than they are in others, this will add to the flavour. Remove the rabbit and leave the pieces to stand for a while in the Oven/Casserole Dish.
- In the same pan, fry the onions and celery until they are softened. Then add them to the rabbit in the Casserole Dish.
- In the same pan, fry the garlic on a low heat until it is softened then add it to the casserole dish too.
- Brown the streaky bacon pieces in the pan then remove them and add them to the casserole.
- Now you can deglaze all of the lovely flavours from the frying pan using the glass of wine. Turn up the heat and when the pan is hot add the glass of wine. Stir the wine with a wooden spoon while scraping (gently) any bits of bacon, rabbit or onion left in the pan. After it has reduced in volume by about a third, pour the wine into the casserole dish.
- Add the stock to the dish, cover it and then put it in the oven.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Keep the spuds in water until…
- After the stew has been in the oven for 30 minutes, take the casserole dish out, give everything a bit of a stir and then put the (strained) potatoes in. Return the dish to the oven as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t lose too much heat.
- Cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle in the thyme.