So to continue with the meats from the Wild Meats day, I handed the kitchen over to James’ capable hands and he cooked up a storm. He used the venison fillet for a starter and then a wonderful rabbit casserole to follow. These recipes served six. The starter was super quick and simple, but incredibly full of flavour and delicious. It went like this:
Heat a pan with some butter and oil until really hot. Add 150-200g seasoned venison fillet and sear for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and let sit while you prepare the rest. Scatter some mixed leaves over a serving plate, add a handful of crushed pistachios and grate over some pecorino. Slice the venison and arrange over the lettuce. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve with some sourdough or nice crusty bread.
And now for the rabbit casserole recipe…
2 rabbits, jointed
2 onions, diced
4 sticks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
250g pancetta, cut into lardons
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
20 sprigs thyme
1 bottle of white wine
600ml stock (we used some of the pheasant stock)
3 tbsps cream
2 tsps dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 160c. Heat some olive oil in a large casserole or ovenproof dish. Add the rabbit in batches to brown it, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side. Once all the rabbit is done, deglaze the pan with a little bit of the white wine. Add the butter and heat until it starts to foam. Now add the veg, pancetta and the fennel seeds and cook for around ten minutes, until softened.
Return the rabbit to the pan with the thyme, wine and stock. Bring up to the boil and let bubble for a couple of minutes. Cover with two sheets of tin foil and a tight-fitting lid, place in the oven until falling off the bone. Ours took around 2 1/2 -3 hours, they were wild rabbits which I think means they take longer to cook. I casseroled a non-wild rabbit recently and it only took an hour and a half…
Once done, remove the rabbit and veg with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool a little. Return the pan to the heat and let it bubble down by a third. Once the rabbit is cool enough to handle, tear the meat away from the bones. Add the meat back to the pan and stir in the cream and the Dijon mustard. Check seasoning and serve.
We serve it with baked potatoes and 400g kale fried in butter and 150ml white wine.