I am finally posting a recipe in February with just a few minutes in hand before March kicks in. I impress myself! Today's recipe is for bunny and although I too don't like to think of the cute cuddly pet in relation to what is on my plate, when I see what “cutey” is currently doing to my cabbages, I become less sentimental.
Everyone loved this terrine and I was amazed at how relatively easy it was to prepare and how delicious it was. The recipe says it serves 6, but it could easily serve 10 as a starter. I was full after this appetizer and that says a lot! So without further ado, here is the recipe.
375ml red wine
50ml cognac or brandy or Armagnac
1 tbsp walnut oil (I used sesame oil)
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 carrot, sliced into rings
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp pepper
750g rabbit meat, see notes
10 prunes, pipes removed
100-250g sausage meat, see notes
Salt and pepper
50g strips of pork fat, (optional) see notes
1 sprig of thyme or a sprinkling of dried thyme
75ml Armagnac or brandy or cognac
The 750g of rabbit meat is meat off the bone. The rabbit I used weighed about 1,2kg whole. Keep the bones to make stock and use the stock in place of chicken stock in another recipe.
The recipe calls for the meat to be minced, but I couldn't find my mincer so I chopped the meat as finely as possible. This worked well, BUT I do think that mincing it would give it a finer finish (as in the photo in the book). Also, I had to cut big pieces to avoid it breaking up and I think one could cut thinner slices if the meat was minced.
If you can't find sausage meat in your area, just squeeze sausages out of their casings and use as above. The original recipe calls for 100g, but I used 250g and was very happy with the result.
The recipe calls for the terrine to be wrapped in pork fat, but firstly I don't have any and secondly I don't like using so much fat in my cooking. I greased the tin with a little vegetable oil and covered it with aluminum foil and had no problems whatsoever. They use a special terrine dish that hermetically seals, but I don't own such a thing (yet!) so I used a standard size bread tin which I covered securely with 2 layers of foil to give it a good seal.
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Mix 250ml of the red wine with the cognac, walnut (or sesame) oil, onion, carrot, garlic, 1 bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Place the rabbit meat into the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight. Place the prunes in the other 125ml of red wine and also leave overnight (or at least an hour or two).
3. Remove the rabbit meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Keep the fillets to one side and mince the rest of the meat. Add the sausage meat, the egg and lots of salt and pepper to the minced rabbit. Remove the prunes from the wine.
4. If using fat, layer the inside of the tin with it leaving enough overlapping to cover the top once filled. Otherwise, lightly oil the tin with vegetable oil. Place half the minced meat into the tin, place the prunes along the middle and then place the fillets on top of them. Cover with the rest of the minced meat.
5. Put a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme (or sprinkle dried thyme on top) on top and pour over the Armagnac. Cover with the overlapping fat strips if using and seal (see above note). Place in a bain-marie (or place the tin inside a bigger tin and pour water to come up to about ½ - ¾ up the tin that the rabbit mix is in) and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour at 190°C.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool then refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavors to mingle. This is very important as it definitely improved / increased in flavor overnight.
7. Upend and slice – we found it very filling so go easy on the slices. I served mine with a Belgium Endive and Apple salad, but any salad of your choice will do just as well.
So now go and enjoy bunny!
I have translated this recipe from a French cookbook I recently acquired called ”Les Terrines – Les secrets d'une bonne cuisine” published by Naumann & Göbel Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. I have changed a few things, but they deserve full credit for the recipe.