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Friday, 14 February 2014

Braised Rabbit with Star Anise and Cranberries

A mate of mine recently gave me a whole stack of bunny wabbits, dressed and everything. Having never cooked rabbit and only eaten it once this was new territory. I did some research and this is attempt number one. Many recipes pointed out how delicate a flavour it is but most recipes have bold flavours like mine so I went for the safe option. Not surprisingly - its quite like chicken. On the upside, this was very nice but next time I will be more gentle. The most interesting part was the cranberries, a few recipes I saw called for sultanas or raisins which I do not like in savoury food. The cranberries puffed up heaps but the flavour went to the background - my wife didn't even know until I told her after that they were there. Tasty.

1 kg of rabbit on the bone
2 rashers of bacon cut in batons
1 stick celery in fine dice
2 carrots in fine dice
1 onion in fine dice
2 big handfuls diced mushroom
3 cloves garlic
1 tin tomato purée
1 star anise
1 handful of dried cranberries
1 good slug of red wine
2 bay leaves
A bouquet garni  (tie some herbs together)
A splash of Brandy
1 cup chicken stock
Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper
Butter and extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs sour cream
Parsley and chilli flakes
Good mash

Season the flour and dust the rabbit. Heat the butter until foaming then add in some olive oil. Brown the rabbit then remove to a clean plate. Fry the bacon then remove to a clean plate. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot until soft then add in the garlic and cook until fragrant then remove. Add more oil/butter sauté the mushrooms with some salt and pepper, add the onion mixture and bacon. If you want a thick sauce, cook through some of the left over flour from dusting. Deglaze the pan with the Brandy and red wine and when the boozie smell is gone pour in the tomato, cranberries, star anise, stock and stir to combine. Place in the bouquet garni and add the rabbit pieces. Reduce the heat to low, add a lid and leave it for 1.5 hours. Remove the rabbit pieces and take the meat off the bone (discard those), chop into bite sized pieces then return to the sauce and stir through the sour cream. Check for seasoning. Garnish and serve with some mash.