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Rabbit terrine

By September 16, 2015 , , , , ,

This recipe was also published in the Telegraph Newspaper in the UK in 2015.

Growing up we ate a lot of rabbit. It was plentiful and cheap and if you didn't mind going out and shooting it yourself then it was there for the taking. My preference will always be wild rabbit as tame rabbits are often kept in worse conditions than caged hens, hopefully this will change soon.

My mother wasn't that inventive with rabbit so it was always boiled and then fried and the end result was a bit tough, but tasty. With wild rabbit you do need to cook it low and slow. So despite eating tough bunny in my formative years it never put me off trying new recipes later in life.

It was a cookbook called "Cuisine Grand Mere" by Marie-Pierre Moine that I purchased about 17 years ago that awakened my interest in trying new ways of cooking rabbit. My go-to recipe was the rabbit with mustard. I do like to slow cook rabbit, but my other half finds the legs fiddly because of the bones. If you get the cooking time just right the meat just falls off the bones.

My favourite way is in a terrine, it does require a bit of work to bone the rabbit and remove the meat from the legs. Once you've removed the meat from the bones, you can keep the carcass for stock at a later date. A terrine makes an excellent starter dish for a dinner party and you can serve it with a nice rich chutney or onion jam with crusty bread.

4 rabbit legs meat removed and sliced into small pieces
3 plain sausages (skin removed) or 200g pork shoulder finely minced
3 shallots very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic grated
10g each of thyme, rosemary, parsley finely chopped
2 bay leaves finely chopped
2 Sage leaves finely chopped
50ml Madeira wine
3 packs of pancetta or streaky bacon to line the terrine
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to season

Sauté the shallots on a medium heat until lightly caramelised, just a light brown colour to add flavour
Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 mins
Place the garlic and shallots in a bowl and allow to cool
When cool, add the herbs, sausage meat and Madeira wine and mix well
Take a terrine dish or a loaf tin (small 500g size tin) and line with the pancetta
Make sure you cover the bottom and ensure you have some draping over the side so you can cover the top of the terrine once finished
Start to assemble the terrine; on the bottom add some of the sausage meat mix and make a thin layer
Add some of the rabbit meat in an even layer on top of the sausage meat mix
Season the rabbit with some salt and pepper
Continue with alternating layers of the sausage and rabbit until you reach the top, then cover the top layer with the pancetta that was draping over the sides
If you have a terrine dish then place the lid on, if you are using a loaf tin then cover the top with tin foil
Place in a bain marie (larger baking tin with water level that covers up to half of the loaf tin/terrine dish) at 150 celsius for 70 minutes or until the internal temp hits 65 celsius
Take the terrine out of the oven
You now need to weight down the terrine so all the layers compress nicely
Placing some tinfoil over the meat, place tinned tomatoes (or what ever tins come to hand) on top of the terrine
Allow the terrine to cool before serving, the layers should have compressed nicely


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