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Rabbit - wild, braised
This is a particularly good recipe for wild rabbit because of its strong flavour definition. If only farmed rabbit is available, try another recipe - or use a free range chicken.
For 4 people:
1 medium Onion, peeled and finely-chopped
3 slices of Smoked Streaky Bacon, de-rinded and cut into big pieces
1 Wild Rabbit, about 1 kilo/2¼ lbs, cut into 8 joints by your butcher - the neck section is only fit for filleting for a paté or freezing to use a stock for another time
32 medium, or 24 big cloves of Garlic, peeled, but left whole
1 litre/1¾ pints full-fat milk
1 Bouquet Garni - the best is 'Bouquet Garni for Poultry' from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk (http://www.gourmetherbs.co.uk)
or 2 sprigs fresh Thyme, or half a teaspoon of dried Thyme, 4 sprigs of fresh Parsley,1 Bay leaf
chopped fresh Parsley to decorate
Equipment: A lidded-casserole that can also be used on top of the cooker, big enough to hold all the ingredients. A food processor or mouli-légume.
- Gently-heat the butter in a heavy-based casserole, add the chopped onion and bacon and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
- Remove the onion and bacon from the pan, and set aside, leaving as much butter behind in the pan as possible.
- Increase the heat to medium, and lightly-brown the rabbit pieces, by turning them over so they seal on all sides.
- Remove the rabbit pieces, and season them with salt and pepper.
- Place the garlic cloves on the bottom of the casserole, then cover with the onion and bacon mixture. Pack the rabbit pieces on top.
- Pour over the milk, and add the bouquet garni or herbs.
- Bring the liquid slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until the rabbit is tender. A little more milk might be necessary, as the rabbit must be covered at all times.
- Transfer the rabbit to a dish, cover and keep warm. Discard the herbs, then purée the remaining casserole ingredients.
- Return the sauce to the pan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the rabbit, and decorate with fresh parsley.