We have some fresh wild rabbit available this week that come from Chidham.  This lean, tasty game meat is extremely good for you and makes for a delicious casserole or ragu.  You do need to slow-cook the rabbit for a while until tender, but it’s well worth the wait.

Serves 8
Ingredients
:

  • 2 wild rabbit, jointed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped celery stick
  • 2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 handful dried porcini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small glass red wine
  • Parsley and grated Parmesan cheese to garnish
  • 1.5 kg pappardelle

Method:

  1. Rinse the rabbit under cold water and then dry.
  2. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan (big enough to hold all the ingredients) and brown the rabbit on all sides in small batches.
  3. Set aside the rabbit, add into the pot the onion, carrot, celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to brown. Add the meat back to the pot, then the sage, rosemary, bay leaves, and dried mushrooms. Mix well and allow to cook for a minute.
  4. Whisk together the tomato paste and wine and add that to the pot. Add the vinegar. Turn the heat to high to bring everything to a boil, then add the can of chopped tomatoes. Mix well, drop the heat to a bare simmer — only a few bubbles coming up to the surface — cover and let this cook until the meat wants to fall off the bone, up to 3 1/2 hours.
  5. When the meat is tender, remove the bay leaves and discard. Remove the rabbit and pull the meat from the bones. Return it to the pot. Ladle out about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sauce and put it into a food processor or blender. Puree, meat and all.
  6. Return the puree to the pot, stir in and keep warm.
  7. Cook the pasta separately following the instructions on the packet.  Drain, mix with half the ragu and serve onto plates. Top each plate with a scoop of ragu, season and add the chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.

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