MY FAVOURITE DISH
My Favourite Dish: Beki Lamb, Sunday Painters
Head Chef - Sunday Painters
Rabbit a la Moutarde
My favourite dish is actually a special that pops onto the menu from time to time. It's called Rabbit a la Moutarde, and this is a rabbit stew with four types of mustard, encased in a suet pastry. This is served with a pea puree and some baby carrots.
Originally we did the rabbit on the plate with stuffed onions, but I never felt like we completely cracked it. Then we had the brainwave of putting it in a pie, and it feels like it's now the complete dish.
Making this dish is a two stage operation. I make the rabbit stew first up. This involves cutting down the wild rabbits, seasoning them and then brown them off in butter. We then put them in a big roasting dish with carrots and leeks, herbs, loads of white wine, garlic, rosemary, some chicken stock and mustard. That gets slow braised for a few hours until the meat's just falling off the bone. We then carefully pick all the meat off as rabbits have some very tiny bones which you have to make sure you get out.
The sauce is then strained back into a pan and reduced down. We then add cream, a roux and we crazy with the mustard. I'm never generous enough with the mustard, but luckily I'm joined in the kitchen by Lukrecya who always pushes for more! We use hot english, wholegrain, dijon and mustard powder - there's a lot of mustard! the rabbit is then added and you have a thick filling for the pie. We find this is the best way to serve rabbit without it getting really dry, which is something that can easily happen with rabbit meat.
The filling goes into ramekins lined with the suet pastry which have a pastry lid added and are par-cooked at a low heat for around 90 minutes. When an order comes in, these are finished and browned in the oven.
We add some cream to a sieved pea puree and heat this through, taking care not to lose the bright green colour. We also serve some turned baby carrots on the side, which we glaze with some honey and butter.
I really love this dish. It's very seasonal so I love serving this up in spring. Rabbits, carrots, peas and spring - it all seems to go together!
A lovely simple rustic dish, with beautifully crumbly pastry and a delicious rich rabbit filling.
As told to Jono Park.
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