Rabbit with Grain Mustard, Honey & Apple

Rabbit with Grain Mustard, Honey & Apple

Serves 4 in 2 Hours

Rabbit is not really seen very often on our menus. The image of Bugs Bunny or the children's pet does not really help. When I was young I remember an Italian family that lived a few streets away they reared beautiful big rabbits, we kept rabbits and I didn't think it unusual that they had similar pets. Except their rabbits seemed to stay forever young and bright looking. Unlike ours that grew old and a bit tired looking. Must have been the selective culling and restocking. They had a detachment from keeping rabbits as pets.

* * *

Method

Cut the legs off the carcass of the rabbit and bone out, secure with some cocktail sticks. Remove the loins, belly flaps and if you have them the liver and kidneys from the rabbit carcass and keep to one side.

Strip any meat from the rest of the rabbit and place in a food processor with the honey, egg, salt and pepper.

Process the mixture to a fine mousse and then chill for about 20 minutes.

Take the carcass bones and boil up then simmer with a mirepoix of vegetables to make a stock. Pass the stock through a sieve; add the white wine and boil up reduce. Peel and dice an apple and add to the stock. Allow the stock to reduce to about 100ml then add the cream, reboil and reduce to thicken, taste and season.

Take the mousse from the fridge and carefully mix in the breadcrumbs, 50ml cream and mustard. You can check consistency and flavour by poaching a little piece in water and tasting.

Lay out a piece of cling film approximately 35cm x 25cm. Place the belly flaps onto the cling film and spread out flat. Spread with the prepared mousse and lay the loins head to tail i.e. one pointing left and one right so that together they form a single cylinder onto the mousse. Roll up in the cling film so that the belly flap wraps around the fillets and mousse. Secure in a couple of layers of cling film and gently poach for between 12 and 15 minutes.

Cook a suitable potato dish and some seasonal vegetables to go with the dish, I've used carrot, spring cabbage, spring onion and broccoli with a fondant potato basted with butter.

When the rabbit is cooked remove and rest for ten minutes and during this time pan fry the boneless legs and the offal.

Arrange on plates cutting the poached loin in half with the leg, kidney and liver. Place on the vegetable garnish and spoon on the sauce.

* * *