This meaty, gravy, hearty recipe will have you smacking your lips and embracing the cold weather in no times.
Tender pieces of rabbit in rich ale gravy, topped with little crispy triangles of bread and little morsels of smoked bacon make this a very tasty dish for any occasion.
We prefer to use diced rabbit for this recipe, so that nothing gets in the way of mopping up those juices. It also works well with chicken.
Crispy rabbit bake
500g (1lb 2oz) diced rabbit
30g (1oz) plain flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
75g (2½oz) smoked streaky bacon rashers, chopped
2 onions, cut into wedges
150ml (5fl oz) pale ale
150ml (5fl oz) beef stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar pinch of salt
2 carrots, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
100g (3½oz) button mushrooms, trimmed and halved
freshly ground black pepper chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Toss the rabbit in the seasoned flour until well coated; reserve any leftover flour to thicken the gravy.
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, and sauté the pieces of rabbit and bacon until well browned; transfer to a casserole. Fry the onions in the same oil for a few minutes until lightly browned and starting to caramelise, then sprinkle with any remaining seasoned flour.
Gradually add the ale and stock, and bring to the boil. Stir in the mustard, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt, and season with black pepper. Add the carrots, and pour the contents of the pan over the rabbit and bacon in the casserole. Cover tightly, and cook in the oven for about 1½ hours.
In a small bowl, stir together the eggs and milk. Cut the bread into squares or triangles, and dip into the egg and milk mixture. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
Remove the lid from the casserole, gently stir through and check the seasoning, then tip in the mushrooms. Arrange the soaked bread on top of the casserole, and return the oven, uncovered, for about 30 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
Recipe extract taken from The Exotic Meat Cookbook: From Antelope to Zebra, by Jeanette Edgar and Rachel Godwin, which has been re-released for the iPad by The Friday Project.
Are you a rabbit meat fan? Let us know what you think...
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