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Archive for February, 2012

For the veggies who read this- my apologies for the meat-feast nature of the last few posts. For those who have a problem with eating bunnies because they are cute- I make no apology.

Rabbit is a great meat, slightly gamier than chicken (although this also depends on whether the rabbit is a buck or a doe and how old it is) it has a sweetness and is cheap too, it is amazing slow cooked. I wanted to make something reminiscent of the rabbit braised in white wine that I ate at the Crooked Billet and I was quite pleased with the result. Don’t be tempted to try and joint the rabbit or de-bone it as it can be much easier done once cooked.

rabbit in white wine and lentil stew with garlic dumplings

serves 4 generously

  • 1 medium sized rabbit
  • 1/2 cup of red lentils and 1/2 cup green lentils or 1  cup broth mix
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 pints chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

for the dumplings:

  • 60g shredded suet
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • 6tbsps cold water

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based pan and soften the onion and garlic on a low heat. Add the whole rabbit and brown on each side. Rinse the lentils in a sieve and chop and wash the leeks.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to the boil. Put a lid on and simmer on a low heat for 1.5 hours, stirring every now and then to stop anything sticking to the bottom. In the meantime make the dumplings. Crush the garlic and salt together with the back of a knife. Mix the flour, suet and crushed garlic and add to it enough cold water to make a soft dough. Make into 8 balls with floured hands and after the 1.5hours of simmering, add the dumplings on top. Put the lid back on and leave for 30minutes. At this point you can fish out the whole  rabbit (serve the dumplings into bowls first) and de-bone it once it’s cooled a little, it should just fall off, and you can add the bone-free meat back into the stew. Serve the stew in a bowl with steamed greens.

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couldn't find my camera so these are rubbish phone photos

Last weekend’s roast was lamb, and on Monday we had quite a bit of leftover cooked meat. Seeing as the weather has been on the colder side, no-one was keen on the salad and cold meat way of using it up. I wanted something a bit different to your average shepherds pie and decided pasties filled with a middle-eastern blend of ingredients would be just right. I think this filling would taste great in fatayer parcels too. If you wanted to use raw mince, then I would suggest pre-cooking it in a little olive oil with the garlic and onions before making the mixture.

The mushrooms in the recipe were to bulk out the meat, so if you have more meat, reduce the mushrooms and vice versa.

leftover lamb and mint pasties

makes roughly 12 medium size pasties

  • 300g cooked lamb, de-boned
  • 200g mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2tbsps pine nuts
  • 1 1/2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 500g savoury shortcrust pastry (either the pre-made ready to roll stuff or using this recipe)
  • egg and some milk for brushing

Pre-heat the oven to 200C

Put the lamb into a food processor and gently pulse until it reaches a consistency like cooked mince (be careful not to whizz for too long…I’ve definitely made meat-dust before by accident. Not appetising…) Alternatively chop finely. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl (apart from the pastry!) and leave to stand while you make the pastry…or just get it out of the fridge.

Roll the pastry until it is about 1/2 a centimetre thick and cut into circles roughly 15cm in diameter (I used a medium sized plate to cut round). Fill the circles with a couple of spoons of the mixture. Brush the edges with a mixture of beaten egg and milk and press the edges together. Put slits on the top with a knife. Transfer onto a baking tray with a thin brushing of olive oil on. Brush the tops of the pasties with milk and egg and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20minutes until golden brown. Serve with steamed vegetables.

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