Spit Roast Rabbit

Was off looking for beef the other day, no surprise there, but couldn't find what I was after and spotted some good looking rabbits for sale so went for one of those instead. Talk about from one extreme to the other!

Been meaning to try a rabbit for ages, and had the idea that it might work out well marinated with lots of herbs, wrapped in fatty bacon and spit roasted, so that's what I did. Took loads of fresh marjoram from the garden, some garlic, plenty of oil and left it for about three hours or so in the fridge.

The Rabbit and ingredients

Ready to go in the fridge

Rabbit can be a notoriously dry meat, so I needed to wrap it in plenty of bacon in order to keep it moist on the spit. It was well seasoned first, and then loads of streaky went round secured with toothpicks.

Wrapped and ready for roasting

Then into a hotish oven for about 45 minutes. Came our rather well I reckon.

Crispy baconed rabbit!

With it I prepared a Tian of potatoes, another first, which is basically thinly sliced potatoes cooked in olive oil in a sort of cake. In the meantime B had prepared a leek and fennel mousse with a red pepper sauce, inspired by the Exe Shed restaurant in Exeter, which we had with toasted tortillas as a starter.

The leek & fennel mousse starter

The finished rabbit with the tian of potatoes

End result? Well, the starter was the star in the end, but you probably guessed that from the pictures. Yes it did taste as good as it looked! Rabbit was very tasty but still a bit dry - should have added even more bacon to the back legs perhaps, or maybe I just cooked it too long and too hot. The bacon was to die for, can't beat good bacon well crisped I reckon, but the potatoes were disappointing as well - far too oily. I did follow the recipe for them in their case, something I only tend to do when trying something very new, but wished in the end I'd trusted by own judgement rather than the book.

I guess you can't win them all, but always fun trying new things. Rabbit is usually braised, but I reckon I can pull this off with a bit more practice, and the left over meat has gone into making a fabulous sauce for pasta - nothing is ever wasted round here!

Meanwhile back to today, and another roast. Lamb with new potatoes from the village, a fresh mint sauce made with our own mint and some minted broad bean puree with our broad beans. At least that's the plan. Now where am I going to find a good local piece of lamb on a Sunday morning ...

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