Sunday, January 30, 2011

January's C of Cooking - Rabbit Cobbler - A Rayburn Recipe

This is a slow cook recipe designed for the Rayburn or other wood stove.  For electric equivalent either 120°C for the same number of hours or 180°C for a couple of hours.

Also designed to be cooked entirely in one pot - for those lazy Sunday afternoons.

First take your rabbit - here is one I prepared last year.
Cut him into eight sections, 2 back legs, 2 front legs with rib cage, and the saddle and back into two then halved down the spine.

Brown the pieces in a large oven proof dish - I love cast iron pans because they radiate heat so well for the Rayburn -  TOP TIP - to store your cast iron pans without them rusting, after using and washing, once dry, brush the insides using a pastry brush with a bit of vegetable oil before storing, to reuse, just wipe the insides with a bit of kitchen paper and they are ready to use.

Once the rabbit is browned add a splash more olive oil and 3 peeled and quartered onions and a generous grinding of pepper.  Leave to sauté for a few minutes until the onions start to soften.
This recipe calls for stock, but because this is a one pot recipe and it will be cooking for quite a while, there is no need to create or add a separate stock, just make it in the pot you are using, and it will be full of meaty flavour.

To the rabbit and onions add a couple of litres of hot water, then add in some carrots chopped into large pieces, 2 bay leaves and a couple of stalks of celery.  In France it is practically impossible to find celery in the shops in winter, seasonality is very important here, and nobody in my family including me actually likes celery to eat.  It does however seem to be an integral flavour in stock, so I always grow a small patch then chop it and freeze it to use during the year.  (Alongside lots of other frozen herbs).

Season the stock well then bring to the boil.  Add mushrooms - either frozen, or tinned, fresh or rehydrated dried mushrooms, whatever you have to hand.  You will need a couple of handfuls.

Once the stock is boiling, cover the pan and shove it into the centre of the oven for as long as it takes to cook the rabbit so the meat is falling loosely off the bones - in my old Rayburn at approximately 250°F / 120°C that can be up to 4 hours on wood alone.

To serve the rabbit add copious amounts of either dried or frozen thyme.  Season to taste.  Once the liquid is to your taste, throw over the cobbler.

Cobbler is a thick pastry type top that is very easy to make and is a real alternative to a pie pastry, I usually serve it in place of potatoes as it is quite stodgy.

Sift 100g white flour, 100g of wholewheat flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt.  Using your finger tips to rub together to a bread crumb consistency add two heaped tablespoons of room temperature butter and a tablespoon of herb of your choice - here I am using parsley.

To bind together, slowly pour in about 100ml of milk, maybe a tablespoon more, just enough so that the pastry does not crumble too much.  Don't make it too wet as it will need to absorb liquid from the stew, both to cook the cobbler and to thicken the stew.

Make a soft dough, then with floured hands roughly pat it flat and into the shape of your pan, lay over the stew leaving a small air gap around the edges.  Leave to cook for a further 40 minutes (probably less in the electric oven at 180° C°).

Serve in big spoonfuls into bowls for a tasty Sunday dish that takes 20 minutes to prepare, about 5 hours to cook and is totally yummy bunny.

No comments: