Tag Archives: Rabbit

Confit Rabbit Ragout

Confit Rabbit Ragout

Confit Rabbit Ragout

After a very long break from blogging, it took a request for a recipe by  a couple of fellow Gourmet Hunters to bring me back in here and post it to share with them.

6 months ago, we travelled across the Nullarbor, back to Victoria, to my son’s home and set up our van. On arrival, he asked if we’d mind having his children for a few days as their mother (his ex) wasn’t coping and needed a rest. He’d be working.

To cut an extremely long and painful (think drugs here) story short, he now has custody of the two boys, she has moved out of town, and we are still here. At the same time he got custody of the two boys, he got a new government job, which requires him to train in Melbourne Monday to Friday for 14 weeks, so we are at home here with our grandsons while he does.

Added to this, our oldest grandson has autism, and hasn’t seen a doctor, speech therapist, occupational therapist-in fact, any professional who could help him in three years- so with son Dan in Melbourne, this has fallen to Russ and I and has been a whirlwind of appointments to get him the care he needs. Both boys went back to school-the youngest for the first time, in February so we had a mix of times and lengths of days for a while-both boys are now doing full days, every day, in preparation for dad starting his new job after training. Then they both started swimming lessons.

It’s been tiring at times (we’re not so young anymore) but really rewarding to see them start and eat new foods and enjoy a constant routine. We all have down days, but on the whole, it’s great.

So there you have my excuse for no blogging for 6 months. And now for the recipe!

Confit Rabitt Ragout

First send son Daniel out to shoot the rabbit, then take your dressed rabbit, pop in a snuggish fitting oven proof dish, cover completely with oil and bake at about 140c for about 3 hours or until the rabbit falls to bits when you try to lift it out of the oil. Allow it to cool a little, then pick the meat from the bones and set aside in the fridge. I used oil we’d confitted another rabbit in recently (cooled and strained). The original oil had herbs and baby leaves and garlic in it.

  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used a mix of bacon fat and confit oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced tiny
  • 2 celery sticks, diced tiny
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 rashers bacon, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups stock
  • Handful of good black olives, pitted (not yucky pre pitted ones though)
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley

    Confit Rabbit Ragout

    Confit Rabbit Ragout

Method

  1. Heat the oil and gently cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and bacon until all tender-about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it reduces and the pan ingredients are sizzling and starting to catch.
  4. Add the stock and oregano and cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes, adding in more stock if you need it.
  5. Add the rabbit meat and olives and cook a further 15 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.
  7. Serve over pasta or mash.

Sicilian sweet and sour rabbit (or my version of it)

Sicilian Sweet and Sour Rabbit

Sicilian Sweet and Sour Rabbit

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been steadily eating our way through our freezers full of pork, fish and beef here at son Daniel’s. We’ve had pork chops on the BBQ, roast pork, pork belly braised in master stock, chilli pork, crumbed fish and delicious organic grain fed steaks. All fantastic, but nothing to blog about.

Tuesday, I decided it was time to use another couple of the rabbits we were given in WA back in October. After watching an episode of Italian Food Safari with Maeve O’meara and Guy Grossi where they made a Sicilian rabbit dish, I decided to check out it and a few more recipes and came up with this:

Sicilian sweet and sour rabbit

  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 8 rabbit pieces
  • Seasoned plain flour
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 100 g prosciutto (I got one slice, then diced it small)
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries (originally called for currants)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (I do this in a small dry pan over a low heat, shaking ’til golden)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leafed parsley
    Sicilian Sweet and Sour Rabbit

    Sicilian Sweet and Sour Rabbit

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based heat-proof casserole, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden, then discard the garlic.
  2. Dust the rabbit in seasoned flour and shake away the excess, then cook in the oil over medium heat until light golden all over-this might need to be done in a couple of batches. Remove all from the pan.
  3. Add the onion and prosciutto and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions  are almost soft.
  4. Add the wine, bay leaf rosemary and vinegar and boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, then return the rabbit to the pan for about one hour or until tender.
  6. Remove the rabbit from the pan and keep warm.
  7. Add the sugar, cranberries and olives to pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce is syrupy.
  8. Return the rabbit to the pan and stir in the parsley and pine nuts and serve.

I should add, it was excellent and will be made again one day. It wasn’t sweet and sour like Chinese S&S but had just a nice “tang” to it. The rabbit cooked up tender and moist in the sauce too.

Rabbits and Rabbit and Dumpling Stew

Rabbit and dumplings

Rabbit and dumplings

Our stop at Monte Casino with Pam, Carson and the kids saw us leave with 10 rabbits. Carson shot them for us while we were in the UK and Switzerland. We stored our freezer-full of fish in their house for the 10 weeks we were away, and they took a few meals out and put the bunnies back in. It’s a good relationship!

Ten rabbits make me feel rich (like new undies or a full tank of petrol does), so I want to use them well.

Tonight  I turned two of my stash into Rabbit Carbonnade with Parsley Dumplings. Carbonnade is a beef and beer dish often topped with French bread (or baguette) spread with mustard, that’s then pushed under the surface of the stew. The mustard croutons eventually rise and crisp up. I love it. I didn’t have French bread (or baguette) so I decided dumplings would be a good substitute . I added the mustard (and  brown sugar) to the stew. I was forced to use light beer, as once again, that’s what we had on hand! The original also had 10 rashers of bacon in it-I couldn’t justify that, so I modified the whole thing to make it my own.

Rabbit Carbonnade with Parsley Dumplings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 kg rabbit, jointed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 bacon rashers, chopped
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 375 ml beer
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh sprigs if you have it)
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (for serving)

Dumplings

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • ¼ cup (20 g) coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (extra)
  • ¼ cup milkRabbit and dumplings2

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 c
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook rabbit in batches for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Melt butter in dish. Add bacon and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until onion is softened. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Sprinkle over flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly add beer, stirring constantly. Return rabbit and any juices to dish with stock, mustard, brown sugar, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cover then place in preheated oven for 1-1.5 hours or until tender-all this depends on the age and size of your rabbit so you be the judge.
  4. Meanwhile, make the parsley dumplings.
  5. When the rabbit is tender, remove dish from oven.  Remove and discard bay leaves. Drop level tablespoons of dumpling mixture, about 2 cm apart, onto top of stew. Cook, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until dumplings are browned lightly and cooked through.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley to serve

Parsley Dumplings

  1. Place flour in medium bowl; rub in butter.
  2. Stir in egg, cheese, extra parsley, and enough milk to make a soft, sticky dough.

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens and a braised bunny

Braised British Bunny

Braised British Bunny

Before we left home, we bought ourselves a year’s English Heritage Membership for 72 pounds. Last time we were here, we bought one for a week and had a great time using it so figured we’d get our money’s worth this time over our 10 week stay.

Today is the start of our 4th week here, and yesterdays visit to the magnificent Brodsworth Hall and Gardens saw our membership more than paid for!

It’s not just the visiting of various abbeys, churches castles and homes like Brodsworth, it’s the getting to them that makes it all fun. I can’t count how many times we’ve got ourselves slightly lost before arriving at our destination!

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Of all the properties visited so far-Brodsworth Hall is maybe the best. It’s an old Victorian mansion that was last lived in in about 1990. The one remaining woman living there just found it too big and too lonely so moved out. It has enough original furnishings to make it feel comfy but not overstuffed, and they are in the same condition (but preserved in various ways) as when she left.

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

The gardens are stunning with a number of separate gardens (rose garden, fern grove, annual planting etc.)

Russ and I took a guided tour then spent 1.5 hours walking around the gardens, then ate a way overpriced lunch from the tea rooms on site. We finished our visit with a look around the bedrooms upstairs and the servants quarters before driving on to Leeds.

We’re staying with friends Iona and Simon for a few days and I was so pleased to finally get here after the drive from Brodsworth Hall. Leeds has a ring road around it with a roundabout approximately every 1/4 of a mile along it. We missed a few turns as our GPS dropped out at critical times so I was quite rattled by the time we finally arrived.

It was so nice to see Iona (we haven’t seen her since Todd and Deb were married well over a year ago) and great to meet Simon and his daughter Lucy finally too. Iona and Simon cooked us a lovely roast chicken dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Today they’ve all gone camping leaving us to house-sit for the next couple of days. Tonight I’m cooking the rabbit we brought at Brigg farmer’s market on Saturday morning. I made stock out of last nights roasted chicken carcass and will add in the leftover roast potatoes and some fresh peas to my braised rabbit towards the end. What an easy dinner!

 Braised British Bunny

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 rabbit, jointed into 6 pieces
  • plain flour
  • black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • chopped fresh parsley
Braised British Bunny

Braised British Bunny

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a baking pan and saute the onion, garlic and bacon until the onion is softened.
  2. Toss the rabbit in flour seasoned with plenty of pepper then add to the pan and brown all over.
  3. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste and pour in the stock.
  4. Cook, covered in an oven heated to 160c for about 2 hours or until the rabbit is really tender.
  5. Stir through the creme fraiche and parsley and serve.*we had leftover roast potatoes from last night, so I added them and some green peas to the dish about 10 minutes before I served.

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Busy Days

Shark Beach pano

Shark Beach pano

Thursday we spent a quiet day in. We went to friends for dinner, but I cooked. With 7 of us eating, it was much easier to eat at their flat with its dining table, plenty of crockery and glasses etc.

Beaty and John organised nibbles-I really loved Johns home-cured olives! I made savoury bread cases filled with curried crab for entree, followed by braised rabbit and veg and a pasta bake for mains. Beaty bought us drumsticks for dessert which was great.

Friday, we put the boat in at Eagle Bluff and fished for a couple of hours just bringing home two black snapper. That night we had drinks and a sausage sizzle with some of the lovely people on our level of the park. Thumbs up to the butcher-his black pepper beef, and beef and garlic snags were wonderful, as were his hogget (two tooth) loin chops. Hogget was half the price of lamb and twice the flavour so it was a win!

Yesterday, we were to move from site 108 to site 12 down on “death row” (someone has to die for a site to come vacant lol). As it turned out, the office stuffed up the booking and we had to move across the way from 108 to 104 for the night, then move today to 12. What a pain ITA!

Shell Beach

Shell Beach

After our move yesterday, we took a drive out to Shell Beach, back to Goulet Bluff, then across the road for a look at Shark Beach. It’s a well kept secret with much, much nicer shells than Shell beach, thick, white and loose so you walk ankle deep in the tiny cockle shells that live in the super saline water, then are thrown up on the shore in big tides and storms. We put the ute in 4WD to explore some old station tracks until we reached the old shearing shed bore then got back on the highway and came home.

After drinks with Beaty and Charlie before dinner, we ate our two black snapper along with wedges and salad. Just salt and pepper and baked in foil in the oven, they were wonderful. Our neighbour Narelle came over after dinner to sit and chat and have a drink. It was a great evening.

Today, we moved at last onto site 12 where we’ll stay for our last 16 days here. What a bugger of a site to get on to. We are the biggest van in the row-everyone else has smaller pop tops. We broke a concrete paver and scraped the shell cement wall, then got the van to a point where we couldn’t go any further back with ute. We had to unhitch, re-hitch in a different position and push the van back. What a performance!

I’m making pea and ham soup while I write this and relax.

Braised Rabbit and Vegetables

  • 3 rashers bacon, diced, fatty ones are good, I cook slowly to render the fat, then don’t use oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 Rabbit Pieces (I had the back ends of two rabbits-saddle and legs),
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water or low-salt chicken stock (the gravy mix is salty remember)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large carrots, chunky cut
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into eight pieces each
  • gravy mix (enough to thicken the two cups of stock/water), mixed to a paste with cold water (I use a really good commercial demi glace made by maggi. I buy it in 2kg tubs)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (I had it but I forgot to use)

    Braised bunny

    Braised bunny

Method

  1. Gently fry the diced bacon to release the fat, then add the onion and fry until softened. Add the garlic and celery and cook a few minutes more. Tip onto a plate.
  2. Add the rabbit to the pan and cook on all sides until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring a minute or two, add the wine and cook until it’s reduced.
  3. Now, add the stock, bay leaves and thyme, the celery and bacon on the plate, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots, cook a further 30 minutes. Next it’s the potatoes-add them and cook all gently for about 30 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. In total, about 1.5 hours cooking.
  5. Finally add the gravy paste to the pot and stir gently until it thickens, then add in the green peas for a couple of minutes. Serve in bowls with parsley scattered over and fresh white bread and butter to mop up the gravy!

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Oven Baked Risotto with Rabbit Cacciatore

Oven Baked Risotto with Rabbit

Oven Baked Risotto with Rabbit

We deliberately cooked two rabbits (or parts thereof) last night so we’d have leftovers tonight. My plan was to make a baked risotto and fold the picked rabbit meat and remaining sauce through it. It was really delicious, so here’s the recipe. I made this for the two of us but you could extend it to feed 4 I reckon, with crusty bread and a salad! I had some prosciutto in the freezer, so I baked it and broke it into shards to serve. It was a good addition. I would have made this with any stewed or braised rabbit, but the Cacciatore was especially nice!

Oven Baked Risotto with Rabbit

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup arborio (or similar risotto) rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken stock (I used water and two teaspoons stock powder tonight)
  • 2 cups of cooked rabbit meat and sauce (mine was cacciatore so tomato flavoured)
  • 1/2 cup (about) frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan+more for the table
  • 20g (a knob) of butter
Oven Baked Risotto with Rabbit

Oven Baked Risotto with Rabbit

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190c.
  2. Heat the oil in heavy pan (I have a 2 litre lidded one I use for everything!)
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until softened, then toss in the rice and stir for a couple of minutes until the rice is coated with the oil. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates.
  4. Pour over the stock, stir then put the lid on and put in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the stock all absorbed.
  5. Stir through the rabbit meat and sauce and the frozen peas, cook a further 10 minutes then remove from the oven and stir through the parmesan and butter.
  6. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes before serving with extra parmesan.

Rabbit Cacciatore Mmmmmmm

Stock yards and windmill are beeing gradually swallowed up by the dune

Stock yards and windmill are beeing gradually swallowed up by the dune


I must be starting to sound like the proverbial broken record, with it still being too windy for us to get out and fish. To add insult to injury, it’s now raining as well. Not pouring, but just drizzling enough to make the sand stick like glue to your shoes every time you step outside! I hope the weather improves before we leave here Sunday and head back to Carnarvon.

Spangled Emperor and Chips

Spangled Emperor and Chips

Sunday we managed to slip out for an hours fishing before the wind got up really high and sent us racing back in. Our bravery, in less than pleasant conditions, was rewarded with three spangled emperor. Russ filleted, vacuum packed the two biggest, and kept the smaller one for our dinner Monday night. Sunday night, we had a red meat night enjoying a bone-in rib eye roast with all the trimmings.

Monday, with rain threatening we packed a picnic lunch, a fishing rod for Russ and the camera for me and took a drive down the coastal road. It’s about a 130k round trip through Cardabia and Ningaloo stations along a narrow corrugated, sandy road, then back to Coral Bay along 50 or so ks of bitumen. The coast itself is accessible via narrower and sandier tracks along the way and makes for pretty spots to view the reef and dunes. We didn’t see any whales this year, but I think we are a month or so earlier than last year. Russ caught a couple of cod at our lunch spot and a very angry Undulating Moray Eel. We had a small shark and turtle hang around checking us out most of the time we were there.

Our annual visit to my favourite sand dune

Our annual visit to my favourite sand dune

It’s interesting to watch the dunes move and swallow up the road and paddocks each year that we visit. The road is totally rerouted now in one spot and stock yards in another are disappearing fast.

Russ went off fishing, I walked home from the boat ramp

Russ went off fishing, I walked home from the boat ramp

Today (Tuesday) Russ decided to have an early lunch and brave the water (salt and rain). I’d showered just before lunch so didn’t fancy putting my super smelly fishing clothes on. Instead, I went with him to the boat ramp then walked the couple of ks home along tha sand track above the reef. I’d taken my camera to try and get some photos of the dark clouds looming over the reef.
Sunshine breaking through the rain clouds

Sunshine breaking through the rain clouds

Dinner was rabbit from the farm at New Norcia. They’d shot and kept us 5 last time we visited in exchange for some fish fillets. It’s a good swap although I miss them living on Jib Jib where they raised wild piglets in the shearing shed and gave us wild pig meat as well. They often give us lamb shanks too if they don’t feed them to the dogs!!!!

Tonight’s dish of Rabbit Cacciatore is from the site Hunt Catch Cook Click on the link to check out this one and some other great game recipes. I’ve made and blogged Rabbit Cacciatore before, but love trying other recipes. I cooked most of two rabbits tonight (the shooters tend to blow away the front legs lol) with plans to make risotto with the leftovers tomorrow.

Rabbit Cacciatore finished dish

Rabbit Cacciatore finished dish


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