Yesterday I discovered a fantastic butcher not too far from my house – there was a queue right out the door, which was good sign number 1. There was a sign stating that they only stock free range meat, and it listed the British suppliers of their various different meats – good sign number 2. I’d been reading my Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain book earlier in the day, with half a mind to try and make one of the recipes in it – honey & lemon rabbit with offal skewers. I thought I’d have trouble getting my hands on rabbit here in South London, but this butcher had everything, and produced a jointed rabbit – good sign number 3!
I purchased the rabbit, and its offal, plus 4 rashers of the best smokey bacon I’ve ever tasted and a jar of freshly made game stock. What great produce – and a great recipe. I slightly altered Jamie’s recipe (removed a couple of steps involving cheese that I didn’t fancy) and served the rabbit with a pearl barley/squash risotto made using the game stock and nutmeggy cabbage. This was an incredibly easy recipe and I’d definitely recommend trying it if you’re a virgin rabbit-cooker too. If like me you’re also a bit of a virgin offal-easter too, please don’t throw away the offal! It took minutes to prepare and cook and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them. Give it a go :)
1 rabbit, jointed into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 shoulders, 2 pieces of saddle, 2 pieces of belly) plus the offal
4 rashers free range streaky smoked bacon, chopped
1/2 tspn nutmeg
1 tspn allspice
1 tbspn Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, bashed
5 sprigs rosemary
1 lemon, quartered
1 tbspn honey
Knob of butter
1 – Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place rabbit joints (plus any leftover bones) and chopped bacon in a large mixing bowl with plenty of seasoning, a few glugs of olive oil, the nutmeg, allspice and mustard
2 – Mix well then heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the rabbit/bacon pieces (in batches) all over.
3 – Transfer the browned meat to an oven tray along with the rosemary, garlic and lemon wedges. Add a splash of water and cover the tray tightly with foil.
4 – Roast in the oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile prepare the offal. Cut each pice into a bite sized chunk, season and thread into a soaked wooden or metal skewer. Set aside
5 – Check the rabbit after one hour. Remove the foil and use tongs to squeeze out the juice from the lemon pieces. Squeeze over the honey and return to the oven for 5 minutes to glaze.
6 – Meanwhile heat a little oil and butter in a frying pan. Cook the offal skewers briefly (2 mins max, 1 min on each side). Serve together with the glazed rabbit plus the roasted juices.