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Slow cooked rabbit with Dijon mustard and cider

Growing up my family ate a lot of rabbit. Mostly it was boiled in water and then fried and that was it. It was only when I bought a cookbook called Cuisine Grandmere and having spent some time in France that I realised there was more to rabbit than just a dry chewy piece of meat. Wild rabbit will require a long slow cook and can be quite dry, so is well suited to casseroles. Cider and mustard work really well together in the sauce, the tang of the mustard complements the sweetness of the cider. 

4 rabbit legs
2 shallots roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 stick celery finely chopped
1 medium sized carrot finely chopped
100g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon cut into small cubes
20g dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1  small sage leaf
1 sprig rosemary
250ml cider (use an off dry cider)
250ml chicken stock
30ml creme fraiche
20g butter (I use this to help finish the sauce)
50ml oil for frying
Salt and pepper to season

In a heavy based cast iron pan, on a low heat fry the shallots, celery, carrot and garlic in the oil until soft and translucent
Add the pancetta and fry for at least 7 minutes until it starts to release its fat, you don't want this to get crispy
Remove these ingredients to one side, retaining the fat in the pan and turning the heat up high and brown the rabbit legs on each side for 1 minute, you do not want to cook them through, just give them a little colour
Remove the rabbit to one side and keeping the heat high, add the cider and allow to boil for about 1 minute, this cooks off the harsh alcohol
Using a pastry or silicone brush, brush the rabbit legs in the mustard, making sure to cover all over
Lower the heat and add the onion mix and rabbit back to the pan along with the herbs, top up with the chicken stock
Place in the oven at 140c (fan), 150c (normal) for 2 hours with the lid on
If cooking on the BBQ, set up for indirect at 140c, you can also add some apple chips for extra flavour, I like to keep the lid off on the BBQ as it allows the flavours to develop
One the cooking time is finished remove the pan from the oven or BBQ
To finish the sauce, remove the rabbit to one side and keep warm
Place the pan on a low heat on the hob, add the creme fraiche and stir through for about 5 mins, turn off the heat and add the butter to thicken the sauce
Place the rabbit back in the pan to warm through before serving and season to taste
I like to serve this with a rich and creamy mash.


Dauphinoise potatoes

So you may have noticed I took a little break from recipe posting, I had a well earned holiday in Burgundy which is one place I love to visit every year. So, no surprise that this week's recipe is inspired by my trip. 
I've always liked Dauphinoise, nothing better than creamy potatoes infused with herbs and garlic and topped with grated cheese. It is for me, a big hug in a bowl and goes with pretty much anything. 

6 medium size potatoes, cleaned, peeled and thinly sliced
200ml double cream
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
2 crushed cloves of garlic
Sprig of thyme
Small sprig rosemary
1g grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
10g salted butter

In a pan place the cream, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and Rosemary and bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 mins to infuse
Add the mustard after 10 mins and whisk in
While the cream is heating start to layer a deep baking dish with the sliced potatoes. As you layer season with the salt, pepper and grated nutmeg (go easy on the nutmeg as it can overpower).
Once you've finished layering pour over the cream
Cover the baking dish with foil and place in an oven at 150c (fan) or 160c (normal) for 45 minutes
After 45 minutes take the foil off, add the butter and cook at 190c (fan) 200c (normal) for a further 30 mins
If cooking on the BBQ, cook on indirect heat at 160c, covered in foil for 45 minutes and again with the foil off, adding the butter at 190c for another 30 minutes


Jerk spiced goatherd pie

This take on shepherds pie pairs jerk spices with a sweet potato topping, the sweet and the spices work so well together. The goat shoulder gives an earthy hit marrying all the flavours together in this dish. One of my favourite goat dishes to date.
Meat base
1 onion chopped
1 medium carrot diced
1 stick celery diced
400g goat shoulder minced

5g ground cinnamon
5g ground all spice berries
10g freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 red chillies finely chopped
2g madame jeanette powder
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2g ground nutmeg
50ml chicken stock
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour mixed with a small amount of water 
Salt and pepper to season
oil for frying

Sauté the onion, celery and carrot on a low heat until soft in half the oil, add the spices and herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes
Remove the veg from the pan 
On a medium heat cook the mince mix until brown in the rest of the oil
Place all the veg back in the pan with the mince, add the stock and simmer for 20 mins
Thicken the sauce with the cornflour, stir well to avoid lumps
Season to taste
Place in a deep casserole dish and allow to cool
If cooking on the BBQ then place the ingredients in a cast iron skillet or a dish that is suited to BBQ cooking

Mash topping
500g boiled sweet potatoes (I put these through a ricer to get a smooth consistency)

50g butter melted
Salt and pepper to season

Mix all the ingredients together until you get a smooth mash, season to taste

To finish the pie

Top the meat sauce with the mash
Place into a hot oven at 180c fan, 190c normal for 30 mins
If cooking on the BBQ then set up for indirect cooking and cook at 180c for 30 minutes

Kitchen Exile Goatober

You may have noticed one or two goat recipes appearing on Kitchen Exile this month. Every year I make a special effort to get involved in Goatober in October. We're more than half way through the month and so far I've shared 3 new recipes. Bock and bock beer pie, Harissa goat sausages and Pulled aromatic goat and there will be one more recipe before the end of the month. You can also search using the link Goatober on my website which gives you lots more recipes. 

Goatober is a now an international festival celebrating male goat meat, in started in New York in 2011, since then it has become an international event spanning many countries. In 2017 it officially launched here in the Netherlands with more participation from farming organisations and chefs. 

So why the special effort just to promote one product? With the increase in demand for goat dairy products, there is a preference with goat dairy farmers for (naturally) female goats. As a result of this demand, male goats are considered a "waste product" and many are euthanised at birth. 

Goatober is not just about raising awareness of the meat but acts as a means to connect farmers, some already in the dairy industry and farmers who would take the male goats and raise them on their farms. These male goats are not going to waste and are raised to be part of the meat industry. 

Goat meat is very underestimated, it has a wonderful flavour which can be compared to either lamb in it's young stage or venison or mutton in it's later stages. It is a very lean meat so very healthy and it's preparation and cuts are similar to those of lamb too.

You're probably now asking where can I buy goat and preferably ethical goat meat from small farmers and local butchers? In the UK you can purchase from Cabrito Goat Meat who do online deliveries, James Whetlor the owner of this site (and founder of Goatober in Europe) has also written a book Goat, cooking and eating. Here in the Netherlands you can buy direct from farmers at KoopenGeit,  De BokkenBunker amongst others or you can buy from Butchers such as Slagerij Poldervaart in Amsterdam. For a full list of all participating Butchers and Farmers head to Meat the Male 

Give goat a try!

Harissa goat sausages

This recipe is based on merguez style sausages that are often traditionally made with Lamb. As I may have mentioned before goat pairs really well with spices, so these sausages are perfect. I like to make the sausage mix the day before to allow the flavours to develop. 

Sausage casings (hog or sheep casings are good)
1kg goat shoulder roughly minced
10g whole cumin seeds, lightly crushed
2g fennel seeds
10g sweet paprika powder
50g harissa paste
10g chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to season

Soak the casings overnight or according to the instructions before making the sausages
Mix the spices and seasoning together with the minced goat shoulder, place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to let the flavours develop
To test if it has been seasoned enough, fry off a small piece and taste, adjust seasoning or spices if necessary
Fill the sausage casings slowly using a sausage stuffer
Do not overstuff the casing otherwise the sausages will burst when cooking
I like to make these into a cumberland style sausage link which is a round continuous coil, up to you how large you wish to make it

You can secure the coil for cooking by putting a skewer through to hold it in place

Bock and bock beer pie

As well as it being goatober, it's also bocktober! So a double helping of bock in the form of goat meat and bock beer. With the change in the weather, it's definitely pie season too and who doesn't love a good pie. We certainly do chez Kitchen Exile. 

Makes 4 medium size pies using a 10cm pie dish

To make the pie filling
400g neck of goat sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped to the same size as the carrot
2 medium onions finely chopped
150ml bock beer

150ml lamb or chicken stock
15g plain flour
15g tomato purée
Sprigs of thyme and rosemary
1 bay leaf
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

In a cast iron pan fry the neck on a medium heat in the oil to get a nice sear on the outside and place to one side on a plate
Next fry off the carrots, onions and celery on a low heat in the residual oil until soft and glossy, it should take about 15 minutes
Add the tomato purée and cook out for 3 minutes
Add the flour, this will help thicken the stew and cook out again for 3 minutes
Now add the beer and stir to ensure that any flour stuck to the bottom of the pan has been removed
Tip in the goat and add the stock and  bring to the boil briefly for a couple of minutes.
Add the herbs
Put a lid on the pot and place in a low oven at 110c (fan) 120c (normal) for 3 hours.
Allow to cool before adding to the pastry, remove the herbs before assembling the pies

To make the pastry
200g plain white flour
115g butter
1 medium egg yolk
30ml iced water
pinch salt
Beaten egg yolk to glaze the pastry

Rub the butter and flour together until it resembles bread crumbs
Add the egg yolk and water and bring the mixture together until it forms a stiff dough
(this can also be made in a food processor, simply pulse the flour and butter mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then add the water and egg yolk until it comes together)
Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for an hour to rest
Once the pastry has rested then roll out to 2mm thick
Next get your pie dish and cut out the pastry using the pie dish, ensure you have excess pastry around the edges
Then take the cut out pastry and press into the pie dish making sure there are no air bubbles, pushing the pastry into all the corners
You can trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie dish using a knife if need be

Also cut out round shapes for the lid of the pie, place on a plate and cover with cling film and place back in the fridge until ready to fill and cover the pie

To assemble the pies
Fill the chilled and lined pie dishes with the stew mix about three quarters of the way up
(If you like you can add some goat cheese to the stew mix, about 50g cut into small pieces should be sufficient.)
Glaze the sides of the pastry with either water or egg wash and then place the lid on top.
Press down the sides of the top to ensure it is all sealed
With a knife make a small slit in the top to allow steam to escape
Glaze with the beaten egg
Cook at 190c (fan), 200c (normal) for 30 - 40 mins, check after 30 mins to see if the internal temp is up to 84c before serving



Pulled aromatic goat with spiced date sauce

This is my kick off recipe for Goatober 2019! 
The preparation takes a couple of days but the brining of the meat infuses lots of flavour into the meat. Followed by low and slow cooking on the BBQ, it makes for a tasty dish. 


1 kg goat shoulder
If cooking with larger pieces then you will need to adjust the cooking time. 
It could take up to 16 or more hours hours if you have a larger piece.

For the brine

1l water
10g salt
10g brown sugar
1 whole garlic bulb (cloves removed and crushed to release the oils)
3 bay leaves
10 cloves
10g whole cumin seeds
10g whole coriander seeds
5cm piece of cinnamon
5g ground ginger
1 onion cut into eighths
2g saffron strands

Lets start with the goat
48 hours before you want to BBQ or slow cook, put all the brine ingredients in a plastic or glass bowl and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved
Add the goat and ensure that the liquid covers the meat
Cover with a lid or cling film and place in the fridge to marinade for 48 hours

To cook

Additional ingredient 500ml chicken or lamb stock

Set your BBQ for indirect cooking at 120c
Place the goat uncovered on the bbq and cook for 4 hours on indirect heat
After 4 hours, I take the goat off the BBQ
I then place the goat in a roasting tin with the stock and cover it with foil and return it to the BBQ for another 4 hours
Remove from the BBQ and allow to rest for at least 1 hour before serving
Reserve the juices and stock for the sauce

Spiced date sauce
5 dates 
200ml chicken stock (you can use the stock that was used to roast the goat)
1 red chilli finely sliced
1 bay leaf
5g whole cumin seeds
5cm piece of cinnamon
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 g ras el hanout
30ml oil for frying

Fry off the onion and garlic on a low heat in the oil until soft and glossy, 
Add the cumin, ras el hanout, chilli and cinnamon and cook out for a further 5 minutes
Add the stock and simmer for a further 15 minutes
Remove the cinnamon and transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth

To serve
Shred the goat using two forks
Pour the sauce over the goat and mix through
Serve in flat bread or brioche buns