Put a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat. Put in the bacon and fry until brown and crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Next, put the jointed rabbit pieces into the pan with a little extra oil if the bacon hasn't let out enough and turn the heat up. Take the time to brown thoroughly all over. Then remove and set aside.
Put the mirepoix (finely chopped carrot, onion, and celery/fennel) into the pan along with the garlic. Stir and color for a couple of minutes, then put the rabbit and bacon back into the pan with any juices that have seeped out.
Tip in the can of tomatoes, the mustard, and enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for eight hours.
Now you can serve it however you like - crammed into a baked sweet potato or with a little pasta. Or, like I did, you can cut a little gem lettuce into quarters and brown quickly in a hot pan with a little oil.
Pro Tip: Only add the herbs and pepper about half an hour before it finishes cooking to retain the flavor. Or, if you are going to chill the dish and reheat another day, add the herbs and pepper just before you reheat it.
I call this Rabbit Ragu, but it is a good recipe for almost any meat. It’s basically just old-fashioned cottage cookery, the likes of which have been prepared in my draughty little abode for generations. Meat browned (or not) and simmered with mirepoix vegetables – carrots, onion, and celery or fennel. Obviously, I then make a few additions, but nothing scary.
The beauty of this kind of cookery is that it automatically comes with at least three portions of veggies. And any protein locked up in connective tissue is liberated through the long slow-cooking process.
“It’s basically just old-fashioned cottage cookery, the likes of which have been prepared in my draughty little abode for generations. Meat browned (or not) and simmered with mirepoix vegetables – carrots, onion, and celery or fennel.”
This recipe is great served with some broad pasta like pappardelle if you are okay with carbs. I only occasionally use pasta and I only ever use wholewheat. Here, I have kept it super healthy by serving it with braised lettuce, which is both delicious and a tad vengeful, as my vegetable garden failed.
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