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Braised rabbit w/ pappardelle pasta olives and prunes

Braised rabbit w/ pappardelle pasta olives and prunes

Braised rabbit w/ pappardelle pasta olives and prunes

Like so many of our feral friends, rabbit is extremely lean. Besides the tender fillets that you can cook quickly, the best preparation for cooking a whole rabbit is long and slow with plenty of surrounding stock and vegetables. There is quite a bit of preparation time involved in this dish, however much of it can be done a couple of days ahead, as the serving of it only really requires cooking the pasta and stirring the rabbit through. By all means make your own fresh Pappardelle pasta. I personally like good quality dried pasta.  This is a super way to eat rabbit, with the prunes and olives working particularly well together. I find that the less salty and more savoury olives work best - avoid cheap and overly brined varieties.

Serves 6.

 

Step 1: Braised Rabbit

Pre heat your oven to 150 degrees.

Take a knife and remove the front and back legs from each rabbit carcass. Once you have done this, chop the two saddles in half. Place a skillet or sauté pan on high heat and once hot, add a little oil.  Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper then sear until golden on each side. Remove and place in a suitable sized roasting dish. Repeat with the remaining pieces, then deglaze the pan with the white wine, and pour the wine over the seared rabbit. Now toss in the carrots, onion, celery and garlic cloves along with the fresh stems of oregano and thyme. Lastly pour over the chicken stock and demi-glaze. Cover with tin foil and place in the pre-heated oven. Cook for a couple of hours before checking. The rabbit is ready when the meat is very tender and comes away from the bone easily. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.

Once cool remove all the rabbit meat from the legs and frames. Discard the bones. Rough chop or shread the cooked rabbit meat into smallish pieces. Hold aside.

Strain off the cooking liquid from the roasting dish through a sieve and discard the vegetables and herbs.

In a medium sized saucepan, add the butter and place on a moderate heat. Once melted, add the flour and mix to a roux. Using a whisk slowly add a little of the cooking liquid at a time, whisking as you go to eliminate any lumps. Once all incorporated bring up to a simmer then remove from the heat. Now add back the chopped rabbit meat, and stir through. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until required.

 

Step 2: Olive Mixture

Take a large skillet or sauté pan and place on a medium low heat. Add the olive oil followed by all the other ingredients. Stir together and sweat for half an hour or so until all the vegetables are soft and fragrant.  Pour into a bowl and refrigerate until required.

 

Step 3: Cooking and Serving

Place a large saucepan of salted water (with a splash of cooking oil added) on the stove top and bring up to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

In another suitable sized saucepan add the braised rabbit mix along with the olive mix. Place on a medium low heat and toss in the cup of chopped prunes. Slowly bring up to heat, stirring frequently.

Strain off the pasta and add to a large bowl or platter.  Taste the rabbit mix, season accordingly with salt and pepper, then stir in the fresh chopped parsley. Pour over the hot pasta, and gently mix through.

Serve in warm bowls with grating of fresh parmesan over each. A simple green salad and a loaf of crusty bread would round this meal out perfectly. Of course, don't forget the red wine too.

 

THE INGREDIENTS

STEP 1

  • 2 500gm Rabbits
  • Cooking Oil
  • Flakey Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  • 2 Carrots (roughly chopped)
  • 2 Onions (roughly chopped)
  • 3 Celery Sticks (roughly chopped)
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 5 Stems Fresh Oregano
  • 5 Stems Fresh Thyme
  • 5 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Beef DemiGlaze
  • 10gm Butter
  • 10gm All Purpose Flour                    

  

STEP 2

  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Onion (small dice)
  • ¾ Cup Carrot (small dice)
  • ¾ Cup Celery (small dice)
  • 1 Tbl Garlic (minced fine)
  • 2 Tbl Fresh Oregano (minced fine)
  • 80gm Green Olives (pips removed and cut in quarters)
  • 80gm Black Olives (pips removed and cut in quarters)

 

STEP 3

  • 500gm Dried Pappardelle Pasta
  • Braised rabbit and gravy mixture
  • Olive Mixture
  • 1 Cup Prunes (stones removed and halved)
  • Flakey Sea Salt                     
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ Cup Fresh Parsley (roughly chopped)
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese for Grating   

 

Photography by Kieran Scott

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