Sunday, 1 April 2012

Friday Night Rabbit Rave

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run...
Having made arrangements to hook up with my friend Sophie in the nearest watering hole to both our offices on Friday night, I was forced to change plans and request that she came over for supper instead, as I had some rabbit I had to cook that night. Rock and roll is basically my middle name. Binning un-cooked slightly off rabbit on Saturday just didn't enter the equation, we would still drink to celebrate Friday, but we would also dine on Flopsy Rabbit. There were no complaints from her, perfect. This fairly rustic recipe for what is essentially a tomatoey rabbit casserole is a favourite of mine; many rabbit recipes involve tomatoes, but instead of going down the typical addition of black olives, here there are crushed coriander seeds, adding a teeny bit of exoticism while still keeping it simple and warming.

Feeds 3-ish (four if you include a hammered boyfriend coming home, having one bite before tipping it all over the table in an attempt to fill his belly). Take one quartered rabbit, sprinkle in seasoned flour and brown on all sides in hot olive oil in a casserole dish. Once browned, set the rabbit aside and in the same pot, gently fry a sliced onion, adding more oil if you need to, 4 fat cloves chopped garlic and a chopped chilli. Once softened a bit, add a small handful of chopped Serrano ham (all I had this time was pancetta which was fine), a few springs of thyme and oregano, a tbsp smoked paprika, a tin of chopped tomatoes and 1/2 a tbsp crushed coriander seeds. Stir well and let it bubble for five minutes or so. Put the rabbit back in the pan with enough water to nearly cover the meat, season, cover and simmer for about one hour, until the meat is very tender and comes away from the bone easily. If you need to, reduce the sauce just before serving by increasing the heat for 5 minutes or so, letting it bubble more ferociously and thicken. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or coriander with rice, potatoes or flat breads. 

Cue Sophie's boyfriend banging on the door, refusing food, and playing every CD in our collection at an enthusiastic volume, and after dinner round the coffee table dancing enjoyed by all. You don't want to know what happened when my boyfriend somehow made it home from the pub...

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