WILD rabbit is a new addition to my menu at Maze Grill and has become one of my most popular dishes. The UK with its lush green pastures is perfect for producing excellent quality game, especially wild rabbit.
Wild rabbit is meaty with subtle gamey flavours, best from late January through to August. A medium rabbit will comfortably feed 3 people if roasted whole, or you can purchase it jointed from your butcher.
The legs of a rabbit are perfect for slow cooking in a casserole served with delicious pappardelle pasta. For a recipe involving the saddle of the rabbit, try my recipe for wild rabbit with Puy lentils and smoked pancetta.
Wild rabbit with Puy lentils and smoked pancetta
What you need
1 saddle of wild rabbit
1 small onion finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
1 stick celery finely diced
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
250g Puy Lentils
100g diced pancetta
1 cup of water
1 sprig of rosemary
700ml of beef stock
150ml red wine
What to do
– In a small saucepan sauté the vegetables until soft and aromatic. Add the lentils, rosemary, garlic, and pancetta and mix together.
– Deglaze with red wine and cook until liquid is reduced.
– Add the beef stock and the cup of water and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. The lentils should be a rich moist risotto like consistency before serving.
– Take a small frying pan and place on a medium heat.
– Add a splash of oil and season the saddle with salt and pepper.
– Place the saddle in the pan and brown all over before placing on a baking tray. Add the thyme and place in the oven for 8 minutes.
– Remove from the oven. Check the centre of the saddle, which should be slightly pink.
– Allow to rest before serving.
– Place the lentils in a bowl and place the saddle on top. Add cracked black pepper and enjoy!