Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Recipes

Recipe: Pot au feu with rabbit and bacon

There’s nothing better than lighting the fire on an autumn day and sitting down to a hearty casserole. Here, UKTV share some of their top foodie recipes for fab stews.

What you'll need

A simple-to-make take on a French classic, using rabbit, a delicious and tender meat, close to chicken in taste but with its own mildly gamey flavour.

1.7 litres chicken stock

3 carrots, 1 whole, 2 peeled and chopped

½ head garlic

Several sprigs of thyme, plus a few picked leaves

Several sprigs of rosemary

4 rabbit legs

Butter, for frying

1 Savoy cabbage

1 leek, sliced

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

4 rashers dry-cured streaky bacon, grilled until crisp

For the Dumplings

500g spinach

250g ricotta cheese

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp grated parmesan

125g flour, plus more for dusting

To make the stew, put the stock, whole carrot, garlic and the herb sprigs in a large pan and bring to a simmer. Brown the rabbit legs in a little butter and add to the stock pot. Simmer for 1½ hours.

Meanwhile, remove the six outer leaves of the cabbage and blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Cut out the central veins then roll the leaves briefly with a rolling pin to make them more pliable.

Shred the centre of the cabbage very finely, discarding the tough core. Gently fry in a knob of butter until softened. Add a few thyme leaves and season. Leave to cool. Wrap the softened cabbage in the blanched leaves to make four balls. Wrap these tightly in clingfilm and pierce a couple of times with a sharp knife.

When the rabbit is nearly ready, add the chopped carrots, leeks, parsnips and cabbage balls. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

For the dumplings: blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Squeeze dry and chop. Leave to one side.

Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Put the ricotta and egg yolk in the bowl and beat together as it heats up. Add the parmesan, mix well and remove from the heat. Stir in the flour and finally fold in the spinach. Season with salt and black pepper. Pat flour onto the palms of your hand and roll the mixture into 10-12 small balls. Add to the stew for the last 3 minutes of cooking time.

To serve, spoon 1 rabbit leg, 1 cabbage ball (remove the clingfilm), a selection of the vegetables and 2-3 dumplings into each bowl. Garnish with a whole grilled rasher of bacon.

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