I feel strongly about animal welfare, and even though I'm not extreme about it, I do think that when it comes down to food, you should be careful about what you buy. Since seeing footage about chicken farms in particular, I have stopped buying cheap chicken. I feel that if you cannot afford good quality chicken, you shouldn't just buy the cheaper alternative (which in all cases will not provide as many nutrients and far more rubbish which they inject in the meat to make it look more plump/ juicier etc). Just buy the good stuff, only less often. Surely that's not unreasonable? One chef in particular always goes on about going to your local butcher's to buy cheap meat. However, you don't have to buy cheaper cuts to get a good deal. We went to ours at the weekend and noticed they still sell rabbits at £4.50. That's for a whole rabbit, already prepared for you (skinned, gutted, jointed). A rabbit, even though small in size, does have a lot of meat on it, and really, you can't get more free range than that! (They 're caught by ferrets during the corn harvest).
A while back we bought a couple and stuck them in the freezer. Now, rabbit isn't to every one's taste and I accept that. Personally, I love it, especially in a cream and mustard sauce. But it can be fiddly, and if you only ever eat chicken breast, you might find it too strong in taste. If you're up for a challenge though, or simply something slightly different, and good for your wallet, this is a dead simple recipe which will leave you with a smile on your face. And a full belly more importantly!
- 2 shoulders and 2 legs (the saddle is best kept to enjoy in all its glory with a cream and mustard sauce)
- a large handful of mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 carrot, cut in chunks
- 1/2 leek, thickly sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- a good slug of red wine (I used red wine ice cubes I'd made with a bottle we weren't too keen on but which would still be perfect for cooking)
- 2tsp herbes de provence
- 3tbsp single cream
- 2tsp mustard
- Brown the rabbit in a little olive oil in a large pot.
- Add the onions and mix around.
- Add the mushroom, carrot, leek and garlic and leave to cook for 5min. Add the herbs and freshly ground pepper.
- Add the red wine, turn the heat up to evaporate the alcohol, then add enough stock to cover the meat and veg.
- Place in the oven at 150degrees C for 1 1/2 hours.
- Take the pot out of the oven, take the meat out and place on a plate. Take the veg out with a slotted spoon and place in a pie dish/ whatever you have at hand.
- Boil off the remaining stock if there's too much there, but keep a good enough amount, about 300ml, then pour in your dish over the veg.
- Now shred the meat off the bones, it should come off very easily.
- Place the meat in the pie dish, then add the cream mixed in with a little mustard.
- Roll some puff pastry on top then place in the oven for 30min at 200degrees C.
- Serve with some roast potatoes.