Tuesday, February 08, 2011


serves four

1 lb 4 oz (560 g) wild rabbit joints, or boneless rabbit, same weight
12 rashers dry-cure streaky bacon, derinded and cut in half
1 large onion, peeled and sliced finely into rings
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 level tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, plus a few sprigs
10 fresh sage leaves dipped in olive oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the stuffing:
grated zest ½ small lemon
½ level tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1 level tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
6 oz (175 g) pork sausage
1 heaped dessert spoon fresh white breadcrumbs
½ onion, finely chopped
2 oz (50 g) Bramley apple, peeled and very finely chopped
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the sauce:
5 fl oz (150 ml) Sercial (dry) Madeira (or dry cider)

Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).

Spread the onion rings all over the baking tray in a single layer then scatter over the crushed garlic and thyme. Now season the rabbit joints and arrange them on the bed of onions. After that, drape the bacon rashers over the rabbit pieces.

Next, make the stuffing by mixing all the ingredients together and forming the mixture into 12 small balls. Place these among the rabbit joints then tuck in the thyme sprigs here and there. Place the baking tray in the oven on a high shelf and cook for 20 minutes. Then top each piece of rabbit with a sage leaf dipped in olive oil. Roast for another 15-20 minutes or until the bacon and sage are crispy and the rabbit is cooked.

Now remove everything to a warmed serving dish, place the roasting tray over direct heat and add the Sercial Madeira to the juices. Bring to a simmer and bubble for about 5 minutes until reduced by about a third. Check the seasoning then pour the sauce over the rabbit and stuffing. Serve with crisp roast potatoes and a green vegetable.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Delia Online, NC Internet Ltd, PO Box 1124, Knaphill GU21 9AA, London, UK

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