Italian Roast Rabbit with Honey and Vegetables

I love rabbit but I have to admit there is a massive difference in flavour for the better when you get a good one. I had the opportunity today to work with a fantastic animal provided by producers Burrawong Gaian, Beth and Hayden sourced via the always fantastic butcher Hudson Meat. I got to meet Beth and Hayden in the Hudson’s store yesterday and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to thank farmers who are serious about quality. They supply two of my other favourite things, Wessex Saddleback pigs and the stunning Muscovy ducks. I have worked with them before but being able to try the rabbit was a wonderful thing.

The first thing that struck me was how much meat was on the rabbit, the size and the incredible quality of the animal. From the moment I began to break the rabbit down I was really wishing it could just be done there and then. Couldn’t wait.

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So I decided to do something incredibly simple, the rabbit needed to really be the star and the meat needed to speak for itself. So I chose to do a one pot wonder Italian dish which is as simple to make as anything but the flavour, wow. Four of us sat down to the finished dish and all of us thought that it was sensational. The rabbit was the star and it is so simple to make. Here is the recipe and I encourage you to give it a go.

 

Recipe: Italian Rabbit with Honey and Vegetables

TitleRoasted rabbit with honey and root vegetables

Ingredients

  1. 80g butter
  2. 1 tablespoon of good honey
  3. 1 organic rabbit, jointed into pieces
  4. 5 tablespoons of good white wine vinegar
  5. 4 large carrots sliced thickly on the diagonal
  6. 4 turnips cut into thick slices
  7. 100g of freshly shelled peas
  8. 100g french beens trimmed
  9. 2 fresh tarragon sprigs, roughly chopped
  10. Salt and pepper

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  1. Cook each of the vegetables briefly in salted boiling water, just to soften a little, then place all the veg into a large bowl and keep aside.
  2. Joint the rabbit and remove the excess fat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  4. In a flameproof heavy based casserole with a lid heat the butter and honey over a medium high heat.
  5. When the butter is bubbling hot brown all of the rabbit pieces turning frequently until they develop a great caramel outside. Then take the rabbit out of the pan and set aside.
  6. Add the white wine vinegar, carefully it splutters, and reduce until almost all the liquid is gone.
  7. Add the rabbit and vegetables back into the pan and turn them in the butter gently.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the tarragon.
  9. Put the lid on the casserole and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
  10. Serve in the pan and let everyone help themselves, there will be just enough liquid in the bottom for a sauce.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Italian

Rating 5 Stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

 

The Joy of Fresh Garlic

Fresh local garlic is a little bit of a luxury in Australia. The vast majority of ours comes from overseas and we are pretty much used to its semi dry nature. But I tell you what, have a go at the real thing and it is life changing for a serious foodie and cook. The fresh stuff is completely different, its bleeds when it is cut, not blood obviously, but sensational garlicky goodness. And some varieties like the one I have had to try in this post can even be eaten raw. Incredible.

A friend of mine has done something I would love to do. Pack up move north and buy a farm. Then grow garlic. WHAT? Garlic, yes. The most difficult crop on earth. I have to admire his dedication. I asked him for a little background on the farm.

Darkwood Farm is a family run organic farm in the beautiful Thora Valley on the mid north coast of NSW.

We believe our food supply should be in the hands of family farms and not greedy multinationals.

Our aim is to provide high quality, organically grown produce to consumers direct, from paddock to plate. Our online shop will be operational from June 2013 at www.darkwoodfarm.com.au and the Darkwood Farm Facebook page you will be able to see how we grow our products and follow the entie lifecycle of each crop.

Our first commercial crop is Garlic, of the Russian variety aka known as Elephant garlic due to its large size.

We grow our garlic on the alluvial flats next to the Bellinger River which adjoins our property.

Our next crops will include Ginger and Turmeric as well.

Hopefully from 2014 we will also be able to provide organic handmade goats’ cheese as we are currently selecting the first goats for our herd.

Last week he arrived in Surry Hills on a loud motorbike packing goodies. A pile of fresh garlic got handed to me and I couldn’t wait to try it. Over the weekend I test cooked a few different things including French Garlic and Onion Soup, a Pizza with Garlic and Whitebean Sauce and perfect Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic. There is no where to hide in the last dish, it is just the olive oil and garlic and boy did the garlic do some talking. The difference with fresh is amazing.

So here are a few pictures of the final results. I am no photographer but you get the idea.

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So despite all the clever recipes the funny thing is that it was the simplest thing that absolutely won us all over. Basic pizza dough, some good olive oil and shaved fresh garlic. Absolute perfection.

I encourage you all to follow Darkwood on Facebook so you find out the moment they start selling direct to the public. Try the real thing, you will not regret it.

 

Caviar on Scallops with Lime Jalepeno Aioli

Every now and then you have the opportunity to try something amazing. Caviar is one of those delicacies that we should serve for very special occasions. Crown St Grocer can order this caviar in for you with a few days notice. I had the opportunity to try it and work with it and after much research and deliberation I chose to make a ridiculously lavish starter to serve with drinks before a dinner party. The scallops work well with the caviar and the lime and jalepeno aioli really give it some kick.

So first lets start off with the caviar. To quote wikipedia, “Caviar, sometimes called black caviar, is a luxury delicacy, consisting of processed, salted, non-fertilized sturgeon roe. The roe can be “fresh” (non-pasteurized) or pasteurized, the latter having much less culinary and economic value.” Please don’t get this confused with Salmon roe it really isn’t the same thing, or in the same league in my opinion. And the connoisseurs among you all will also know that you should never use a metal spoon because it will taint the flavour. I don’t have the correct ‘mother of pearl’ spoon so I resort to a small plastic one that has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. I also encourage you to try it as is, so that you have some idea of the basic taste. It really is worth it. Okay then on to the recipe. I have done this the simple way, if you want to go all out and make your own fresh aioli then go for it.

: Caviar on Seared Scallops with Lime Jalepeno Aioli

: An wonderful starter or a great nibble at a drinks party.

  1. Tin of caviar
  2. Some good quality aioli
  3. 1 Lime zested
  4. Fresh thyme
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper or a scoop of bottled peppers
  6. Fresh sea scallops, one or two per person up to you

  1. Start by cleaning the scallops and placing them with fresh thyme leaves and a very small amount of olive oil into a bowl covered in the fridge. Often good to do this 30 minutes before hand.
  2. In the bowl of a small food processor combine 1 cup of aioli with the jalepeno and 1 teaspoon of lime zest. Process until smooth.
  3. When you are ready to assemble get all of the ingredients ready to go by removing the thyme form the scallops and having the ailio in a bowl ready to go.
  4. Sear the scallops quickly on both sides.
  5. Top each scallop with a small amount of aioli making a small well.
  6. Top each with a small burst of caviar.
  7. Arrange on a warm plate and serve immediately with a stunning champagne.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

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