MUNCH RATING: 1/5
I knew I wanted to make a stew with the rabbit I bought from the Farmer’s Market in Epsom last Sunday, but as I’d never eaten or cooked it before I looked for some guidance. Even though I don’t like Rick Stein, I decided to have a flick through his Mediterranean Escapes book, which has been sitting unused on the bookcase since Steve’s Mum bought it last year. I spotted a recipe for Rabbit Stifado and thought it would be perfect because I had a packet of stifado herb and spice mixture that Steve’s sister brought me back from Halkidiki.
The herb mixture contained:
- bay leaves
- black peppercorns
I served the stew with rice and potatoes as that’s what was served to us in the restaurants we visited in Greece. I sautéed the potatoes with garlic and rosemary and they were the best part of the meal!
So now I have even more reasons to not like Rick Stein! Here’s Rick’s recipe if you want to make the mistake of making it!
- Serves: 4
- Cooking time: 55 minutes
- 1 large rabbit, weighing about 1.5kg, jointed
- 6 allspice berries
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 5 garlic cloves
- 50ml red wine vinegar
- 600ml red wine (I used Merlot Pinot Grigio)
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 5cm piece cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 50g currants (I left these out as I’ve never had stifado with them in!)
- 15g butter
- 450g small pickling onions or shallots*
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper
- Season all the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper.
- Grind the allspice berries and black peppercorns into a powder.
- Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole. Dust the rabbit in the flour and knock off but reserve the excess. Add half the rabbit pieces to the casserole and fry over a medium-high heat until nicely browned on both sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the rest of the rabbit.
- Return all the rabbit to the pan with the garlic and the remaining flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour over the vinegar and leave it to bubble for a minute or two, then add the red wine, tomatoes, ground spices, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, currants, 1 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, part-cover and simmer for 55 minutes or until the rabbit is very tender and the sauce has reduced.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium-sized pan, add the pickling onions or shallots and the sugar and fry, shaking the pan now and then, until they are richly golden all over. Then add 2 Tablespoons water, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until tender. Uncover, raise the heat and cook more rapidly for a minute or two, shaking the pan until the onions are covered in a shiny glaze. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
- When the rabbit has had the required cooking time, stir in the caramelised onions and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
* I bought a packet of baby onions and to make it easier to peel them, I blanched them in boiling water for about 1 minute, so the skins came away more easily.