Rabbit with Shallots, Rosemary and Garlic

Mike Robinson's full flavoured rabbit casserole with bacon and red wine makes an invitingly appetising main course
By Mike Robinson
Rabbit with Shallots, Rosemary and Garlic
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 large rabbits, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 25 g butter
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g smoked bacon or pancetta
  • 25-30 shallots
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bottles red wine
  • 5 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve

Method

1. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Roll the rabbit joints in the flour.

2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy flame-proof casserole dish over a medium heat. Gently fry the rabbit pieces until golden brown all over (do this in batches). Remove all the rabbit pieces and reserve.

3. Add the bacon to the casserole dish. While that is cooking, finely chop half the shallots and leave the rest whole. Add all the shallots to the bacon in the casserole, together with the chopped garlic.

4. Cook for 5-6 minutes, until everything is browned and the bottom of the casserole is sticky and a bit burned. Increase the heat and add a glass of red wine. Scrape away at the bottom of the casserole and all the burnt bits will come away.

5. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

6. Add the rabbit to the casserole, packing it in tightly. Lay the rosemary on top. Sprinkle the rabbit with the whole garlic and add enough red wine to cover the rabbit.

7. Cover the casserole and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes for farmed rabbit, or 2 hours 30 minutes if using wild rabbit, until the rabbit is tender and falling off the bone.

8. Transfer the meat to a serving dish and leave the sauce in the casserole dish.

9. Heat the casserole dish containing the sauce over a medium heat, stir in the cornflour and butter mixture and continue stirring until thick.

10. To serve, pour the sauce over the rabbit and scatter over the shallots and garlic. Add a sprinkling of parsley and serve.

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