Entertaining on the cheap: Become a bunny boiler

What is it with us English and the humble rabbit? While the rest of Europe put this delicate meat at heart of a host of dishes, we seem to shy away from using it.

I blame Watership Down, or maybe it’s the way it’s butchered in the UK which tends to leave unsymmetrical portions of bits and bobs.

Once tasted, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s difficult to understand why rabbit isn’t a regular dinner time feature – it’s tasty, very lean and, if you select wild, has lived out its life in the green and pleasant lands plus it’s very cheap!

In the same town where an organic free-range chicken commands a £17 price tag, the going price for a whole rabbit is just £3.

Cut into pieces by my obliging local butcher, it cooked up with enough to feed 6.

Do the math and give it a try. The recipe below is from The Silver Spoon and I picked it for its simplicity – basically cooks itself while you get on with preparing other stuff for your guests.

What you need
One rabbit.
Crushed garlic glove.
One chopped spring onion.
Sprig of rosemary, chopped.
Few marjoram leaves.
Sprig of fresh lat leaf parsley.
One bay leaf.
Two tablespoons of strong mustard (I used wholegrain).
Slug of olive oil.
Juice of one lemon.
Salt and pepper.
1/3 bottle of wine.

What you do
Rub the portions with olive oil and a generous helping of salt and pepper. Heat remaining oil in a large pan and brown all over.
Add all the other ingredients except the mustard and boil for about 50mins or an hour.
Stir in the mustard and cook for a further ten minutes.

Serve with mashed potato.


And if you still don’t believe me about the virtues of bunny, it’s not just me that enjoyed this recipe – I found this  food blogger has also tried it out too

Why chefs should eat out

Quite simply so that they don’t serve this up.

Tempura vegetables. Not
Tempura vegetables. Not

I’ve never met the person responsible for producing this, but I’m pretty sure they don’t eat out much.

Anyone who has ever had tempura vegetables surely couldn’t send this out to a customer.

Battered veg with lashings of bottled sweet chili sauce would have been more accurate!

This lunchtime special from The Kings Head Hotel in Richmond is a world away from the Japanese delicacy where a light and lacy batter kisses and whispers across a flash-fried ingredient.

“Tempura embodies qualities Japanese cooks hold dear: fresh ingredients, precision cooking and beautiful presentation” as they say in Australia.

Sadly this dish of chunks of overcooked veg in a thick and greasy batter left me remembering a similar offering back in the days of the staff canteen of the Press & Journal where the cook treated me to a vegetarian kebab – complete with deep-fried battered Brussels sprout!