New potato gnocchi with rabbit and tarragon
- July 2020
- Serves six
- Hands-on time 1 hour, simmering time 2 hours
New potato gnocchi makes for for beautiful dumplings. These are served with a creamy rabbit and tarragon sauce. If you can’t get hold of wild rabbit you can do something similar with chicken.
If you’re looking for a gnocchi that’s a little bit quicker, try this mushroom and speck number.
- 35g (17.5g saturated)
- 47.4g (3.8g sugars)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 150g unsmoked streaky bacon lardons
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 wild rabbit, jointed (see Know-how and Gill’s tip)
- 1 large or 2 small onions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced or grated
- 2 fresh bay leaves, torn
- 1 glass dry white wine (175ml)
- 200ml double cream
- 4-6 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Knob of butter
- Dressed green salad to serve
For the gnocchi
- 500g new potatoes, scrubbed
- 200g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 75g hard sheep’s or cow’s cheese,finely grated, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- Heat a large heavy-based pan (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add a dash of oil, then the lardons. Cook gently on all sides until golden. Lift the lardons out onto a plate and add a dash more oil to the pan.
- Season the flour with salt and pepper, then toss the rabbit pieces in it to coat. Shake off any excess, then add to the pan. Fry the rabbit in the bacon fat until it’s looking lovely and golden on all sides too. Lift it out and set aside with the bacon.
- Add the onion/s, garlic and bay leaves to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until the onions are soft. Return the bacon and rabbit to the pan. Pour in the wine and just enough water to cover the meat (about 350ml), then bring to a simmer. Put a lid on the pan but leave it just ajar to let some steam escape, turn the heat right down and cook for about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile make the gnocchi. Put the potatoes in a pan with salted
water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender (15–25 minutes), then drain and leave to steam dry.
- Tip out the potatoes onto a clean work surface and use a pair of forks to rough them up – don’t mash, just chop and fork the potatoes. This helps give the gnocchi a little texture. Scatter over the flour, then the cheese and chives, and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Using your hands, gently bring together to make a firm, warm dough.
- Knead gently for a few minutes, then divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Use your hands to roll out each quarter into long cylindrical lengths about 2cm thick. Cut the lengths into 2-3cm pieces and, as you pick them up, give them a gentle pinch. Lay the gnocchi on a lightly flour-dusted tray (see Make Ahead).
- Remove the lid from the pan. The meat should feel very tender. Using a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon, lift the rabbit pieces out of the sauce onto a plate, but leave the pan on the heat. Stir in the cream, bring back to a simmer and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and reduced to the consistency of a rich sauce.
- When the rabbit is cool enough, pull the meat from the bones and return it to the cooking sauce with the chopped herbs. Season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper (see Make Ahead).
- When you’re ready to serve the dish, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Carefully scoop out all the gnocchi using a slotted spoon and put them in a warmed bowl with the knob of butter, a trickle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.
- Divide the gnocchi among warmed bowls. Warm through the rabbit and sauce, then spoon it over the gnocchi. Serve with more grated cheese and a dressed green salad.
You can make this dish using 600-700g skinless boneless free-range chicken thighs instead of rabbit.
Make the rabbit and sauce up to 2 days ahead, then chill, covered, until ready to reheat. Shape the gnocchi, cover with a clean tea towel, then chill for up to 4 hours before cooking.
Ask for rabbit at your local butcher or farmer’s market. If it’s being sold whole, ask them to joint it for you.
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