This is a recipe for the winter edition of Gravitas magazine written and photographed at home using the "Kalico' and 'Thorens' Food Photography Backgrounds.
Available all year round, wild rabbit is leaner and tastier than the farmed variety although much less gamey than Hare. It’s rarely found in supermarkets, but most good butchers will be able to easily obtain one or two for you. Ask them to joint them. This recipe is a classic Italian slow braised stew, served here with pappardelle but you could also use this ragu as a base for lasagne or a rich rabbit ‘shepherd’s’ pie
1 Wild rabbit, Jointed
100g Pancetta lardons
1 carrot, diced
1 stick Celery, chopped, reserve some celery leaf
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Bay leaf
½ Tbsp Mustard seeds
1 Tin good quality chopped tomatoes
1 TbspTomato Puree
12 Green Olives roughly chopped
2 Anchovies chopped
500ml Chicken Stock
Large glass of white wine
Season the rabbit with salt & pepper. Heat a little oil in a large oven casserole pan, brown the jointed rabbit pieces using tongs to turn until well coloured. Remove and set aside.
Add the pancetta and stir until starting to crisp, add the carrot, celery, garlic, bay and mustard seeds, stir until softened, add the white wine, boil off the alcohol before adding the chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, olives and anchovies. Bring to a simmer, return the rabbit to the casserole, cover and place in an oven at 140C for 2 -3 hours.
Carefully remove the rabbit joints and shred the meat with a fork before stirring back into the ragu
Over a gentle heat rapidly stir in the butter to enrich the sauce.
Serve with pappardelle, lots of freshly grated parmesan and chopped celery leaf