- Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Effort: easy
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 tsp white peppercorns
- 8 sage leaves, stalks removed and reserved
- 2 rabbit legs, trimmed
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 300 ml sweet cider
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 200 ml double cream
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- vegetable oil, for frying
- blanched cabbage
- fried lardonsstreaky bacon
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas 1. Place the shallot, garlic and peppercorns in an ovenproof pan (or casserole dish) with the sage stalks. Lay the rabbit legs on top, then pour over the stock and cider. Seal ingredients well with parchment paper, (parchment should rest snugly on top of ingredients) then seal again with foil.
Double-sealing creates less air-space between ingredients minimising loss of moisture to keep meat tender when slow-cooking; this method works well for slow-cooking methods when using an ovenproof pan. A lidded casserole dish could be used as an alternative, but outlined method is Martin's preferred.
2. Bring the pan to a boil on top of stove, then transfer to the oven and cook gently for approximately 2 hours, or until the rabbit legs are tender when tested with point of a knife. Remove the pan from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 180°C/gas 4.
3. Transfer the rabbit legs to a smaller, shallower ovenproof pan. Ladle about 100mls of the cooking juices over the legs, add the honey and season with a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on top of the stove, then transfer to the hot oven to glaze, basting from time to time. The legs will darken to an oaky sheen and the cooking liquor will become very sticky; this will take about 20 - 25 mins
4. Meanwhile, bring the remaining cooking juices to the boil over a high heat and boil vigorously until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third. Add the double cream, return to the boil and simmer until the mixture has reduced to a sauce consistency. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice to sharpen.
5. Pass the sauce through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan and reheat gently.
6. In a small frying pan, quickly fry the sage leaves in vegetable oil until they are crisp and stop bubbling in the oil. Drain well on kitchen paper and season with a little salt.
7. To serve, toss your shredded, blanched cabbage with a little fried streaky bacon and divide among serving plates. Place the glazed rabbit legs on top, pour the sauce around and scatter over the crisp sage leaves.
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