- August 2018
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 30 min, plus chilling, oven time 1 hour
Try something new on your barbecue with these rabbit burgers served with watercress mayonnaise, blue cheese and slow-roasted tomatoes.
Gill says: “I can’t understand why we don’t eat more rabbit. It’s one of the best-tasting, most sustainable meats around. Perhaps we can’t help but think of rabbits in an emotional way – which isn’t a bad thing; we should think of all life in an emotional way. But we must also be realistic.
Wild rabbits live a natural existence. They’re abundant and as versatile as chicken – the only culinary difference is that rabbits taste better.”
- 39.9g (14.5g saturated)
- 45.1g (5g sugars)
- 8 medium tomatoes
- Olive oil for drizzling and frying
- Bunch fresh watercress
- 6 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
- 250g soft blue cheese (we used gorgonzola dolce)
- 8 soft burger buns, halved
For the burgers
- 700-800g rabbit meat, minced (see tip)
- 300g fatty pork belly, minced (see tip)
- ½ small bunch fresh parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
- ½ small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
- Good pinch chilli flakes (optional)
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Put all the burger ingredients in a large bowl with plenty of black pepper and mix with your hands for 1-2 minutes. This will help them bind and give a good texture. Shape into 8 equal patties, no more than 2cm thick, then wrap in cling film and chill until ready to cook (see Make Ahead).
- Meanwhile, halve the tomatoes and put them cut-side up on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for
1 hour (or longer for a more intense flavour).
- Take half the watercress and, discarding any really thick stalks, chop finely with a knife, then mix with the mayonnaise in a small bowl.
- Cook the burgers on a barbecue or in a large, lightly oiled, heavy-based frying pan for 4-5 minutes on each side. When they’re almost ready, crumble the blue cheese onto the burgers (while still on the heat) and
leave to melt for a minute or so.
- To serve, put a handful of fresh watercress in each bun, hold in place with a cooked rabbit burger, add a spoonful of watercress mayo and finish with 2 slow-roast tomato halves.
Your local butcher should sell wild rabbit. If he doesn’t, ask if he might find some. He’ll skin them and portion them for you (or for this recipe, ask him to mince it, along with the pork).
Make the burgers and bake the tomatoes 1-2 days in advance, then cover and chill (separately) until ready to cook. Warm the tomatoes before serving.
A soft, juicy beaujolais works here, especially a fleurie or morgon.
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