Rabbit casserole with tomato and rosemary
- October 2006
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 jointed rabbits or 4 rabbit saddles
- 100g pancetta or dry-cured smoked streaky bacon, diced
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 red onions
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 300ml red wine
- 400g can plum tomatoes
- 100ml fresh chicken stock, hot
- 1 tbsp butter, softened
- Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or heavy-based saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the rabbit, in batches, and brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, until well coloured. Add the garlic and brown slightly, then add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the rosemary and red wine, allowing the wine to bubble up for a couple of minutes, then return the rabbit to the pot. Stir well and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Squish the tomatoes through a colander into a bowl. Add the pulp and the juices to the casserole and stir through. Add the stock to almost cover the meat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 1½ – 2 hours (if the rabbit is wild, it will take a bit longer). Check the meat – you want it to be tender, like cooked chicken. Cook for a little longer if necessary.
- Stir the butter into the stew and season to taste. Serve with rice, mash or, to be truly ardent, a soft, buttery spoonful of polenta.
You can swap in sage or thyme for rosemary. As this contains bacon, don’t add salt until the end of cooking.
You can order rabbit from your butchers or local farm shop.
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