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Rabbit hits the heights; Chef 's Special: Dishes of the day from Chris Marshall of Panoramic, Liverpool's highest restaurant: Rabbit saddle with Bolognese and roasted carrots.

Byline: Chris Marshall

RABBIT is classed as a game animal, even though a lot of the rabbits you see on the slabs of specialist butchers have often been farmed.

The usual rule of thumb is that one decent-sized rabbit will feed four people, and a good butcher will always joint and prepare the rabbit if asked.

It can be strongly-flavoured if the animal is wild, rather more neutral if farmed, and can also be a somewhat dry meat - hence the need either to casserole a rabbit, or to wrap it in a fatty meat like bacon if cooking in an oven.

Chris Marshall's recipe takes in a little of both methods of cooking a rabbit, roasting the saddle surrounded by bacon, and then cooking the minced leg meat in a sauce to create a variation on the classic Italian bolognese.

Ingredients: Rabbit saddles, parma ham.

For the bolognese: minced rabbit leg; 1 finely diced onion; garlic cloves, crushed finely; tomato puree; 168ml port; 150ml red wine; 1 bay leaf; thyme; 750ml brown chicken stock; 645ml demi-glaze (available from gourmet shops).

Method: Remove all sinew from rabbit saddles, then wrap parma ham around the saddles into a cylinder shape and cook in the oven for 15 minutes at . Bolognese: Brown off the minced rabbit leg in hot oil and drain, then fry onions and garlic together until soft, add the tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes. Next pour in the port to glaze followed by the red wine and reduce by a half. Once done add bay leaves, thyme and chicken stock and cook slowly for an hour and 50 minutes then finally add the demi-glaze and reduce until a deep colour is achieved.

Ingredients: For the roasted carrots: Baby carrots; chicken stock; garlic; thyme; lemon zest; salt & pepper. Method: Boil the baby carrots with the rest of the ingredients until they are tender, drain then rub in a cloth to remove the skin, rinse under water to make sure they are clean then place in a hot pan and cook until slightly caramelised.

Serve with a slice of rabbit liver and kidney, pan-fried.


DELICIOUS: Rabbit saddle with Bolognese and roasted vegetables, inset, chef Chris Marshall
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2010
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