Monday, 17 September 2012

Rabbit with a Pea and Spinach Risotto

This was inspired by a random trip to a butchers in Chester, where I was sold a rabbit. Having never eaten a bunny before I decided that this would be a good challenge to pursue. Trying to think what to do with a rabbit i came up with some ideas, casseroles, rolled saddle etc, but I decided that I wanted to do a risotto with things that rabbits eat. I am pretty sure they must like spinach and peas, because if they don't they must be fools.

If you don't like the idea of tucking into Peter Rabbit then the risotto is very good on its own, and an easy vegetarian dinner.

Crispy Rabbit

1 Rabbit
2 Carrots - roughly chopped
1 onion - roughly chopped
3/4 cloves of garlic - smashed
Half a bottle of white wine
1 litre of stock
Olive oil

Get the butcher to joint your rabbit or have a go at hacking it up yourself, you don't have to be too precise as you will be taking it off the bones later. Brown the meat in a frying pan, and place into a large saucepan (or slow cooker if you have one). Pour in the wine and stock and cook the rabbit for about 2 hours on a low heat.

Once cooked take the rabbit out of the stock and take the meat of the bone. Break up the meat slightly season generously. Put some oil in an oven proof frying pan with a good amount of oil, and fry for about 5 minutes, make sure the oil is hot so that the rabbit crisps and doesn't just become oily. Put in the oven at about 180 degrees for about 30 minutes or until your desired level of crispyness.

Spinach and Pea Risotto

Arborio rice
1/2 an onion - very finely chopped
1 clove of garlic - finely chopped
1 large glass of white wine
Stock - you can use the rabbit stock if you cooked that, or just a veggie/chicken stock
Grated parmesan
Half a bag of Spinach
Mug of Peas
1 Lemon

I love risotto, it's the perfect midweek excuse to buy a bottle of wine 'for cooking', and tastes and looks great, and is very therapeutic to make.

Gently soften the onions and garlic in some butter and olive oil. When they are nice and soft add they rice and fry for a further minute or so before adding the wine. Let the alcohol burn off a little and then gradually add warm stock stirring now and again, not letting the rice get too dry. I normally reckon a big ladle of stock about every 4 minutes on a medium heat is best. Keep tasting and when the rice is almost done add the peas and spinach until they are both cooked. Add a decent amount of parmesan cheese a good knob of butter, and a squeeze of half a lemon and stir in.

I really do think a drizzle of olive oil and lemon and some parmesan on top elevates any risotto.

That is a basic risotto recipe so you can realistically add anything at the end (or beginning if it is meat).

If you have cooked the rabbit - just place the meat on top of the risotto to give a really nice gamey textural addition to this simple italian classic.

Zil very much enjoyed the texture combination and the new flavour of rabbit and gave this dish a Watership Up of 9/10 on the Zilometer.