Wild rabbit ragu with mafalde

I understand that rabbit isn’t everyones cup of tea, but it is a really delicious meat and arguably a more ethical meat that intensely overarmed chicken that are raised in terrible conditions worldwide, even in the UK. Truly wild game has had a natural life and is culled to help balance population etc. 

Rabbit is a delicious meat that is eaten all over the world. My Catalonian uncle makes a mean rabbit paella! If you speak to your local butcher they will be able to explain the best way on how to prepare the rabbit and will joint it for you as well. 

 

Ingredients

  • 2lb wild rabbit, jointed. 
  • 800g tinned tomatoes 
  • 500ml high quality stock (chicken or veg)
  • 250ml glass of red wine 
  • 4 fresh sage leaves 
  • 4 springs of fresh thyme 
  • 2 medium carrots 
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic 
  • 2 sticks of celery 
  • 1 brown onion 
  • 50g packet of dried porcini mushrooms
  • salt and pepper 
  • olive oil 
  • Pasta or mash potato to serve (I like to use a long thick pasta like Mafadele or pappardelle) 
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley 
  • pecorino or parmesan 

Directions

  1. Peel and finely slice the onion along with the carrot and celery. crush the garlic cloves. 
  2. Place a large, heavy based saucepan with a lid on the hob and place the jointed rabbit in the cold pan along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Gradually bring the pan to a medium high heat and brown the rabbit meat on all sides. Once browned, remove from the pan and set aside. 
  3. Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic to the pan, stir and cook for about 30 minuets, stirring regularly. 
  4. Place the mushrooms in a jug and cover with freshly boiled water. This will soften them and also provide a deep, umami rich broth to add to the ragu. 
  5. Pick the leaves of the thyme and roughly chop the sage and add to the pan with the veg. 
  6. Remove the softened mushrooms from its juices and roughly chop before adding to to the pan. Stir and then add the wine and mushroom liquid along with the tinned tomatoes. Stir and then add the stock. Bring the pan to a boil then reduce to a simmer, allow to cook for 20 minuets, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Add the rabbit meat to the pan, stir so some of the sauce is covering the meat. Reduce the heat to low, you want only the slightest bubble coming from the sauce. Cover the pan with its lid and cook for 3.5 hours until the meat is falling off the bone. 
  8. Remove the meat from the pan using tongs, push the meat off the bones and return the meat to the pan. Stir and simmer for another 20 minuets. 
  9. Make the pasta , grate the cheese and shred the parsley leaves.
  10. Tip the cooked pasta into the ragu sauce and stir. Serve in deep bowls topped with cheese and fresh parsley.

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