Rabbit definitely fell out of favour as a source of protein but once up on time it was really very popular and I am on a bit of ‘wild’ meat push at the moment and if this site does anything it is represent what I eat. This spiced rabbit tagine is one of my favourite ways to cook with farmed rabbit, which is much more subtle and a little more tender than wild rabbit, so you can cook it a little quicker but you do have to be careful as over cooked rabbit is good to now one. This rabbit tagine offers the perfect gentle way of cooking the meat, it almost is pretty much steamed in the juices from the peppers, onions and harissa, not only cooking it gently but also imparting a lovely flavour into the rabbit.
Of course I am aware that rabbit may not be the easiest of meats t get your hands on but it is definitely worth it and I love the idea of introducing people to something new, just like my recent venison stew or wild boar stew this recipe is all about planting a seed. If just one person of the many thousands that reads my recipes picks up on one of these ideas and says, ‘why not, I’ll give it a try’ I will be a real happy bunny… See what I did there 😉 These meats are sustainable, and fabulously tasty and as far as I am concerned they should be demystified, they are no more difficult to cook than beef, pork, chicken or lamb. My rabbit tagine has been developed with farmed rabbit in mind, wild rabbit is a much more gamey that farmed rabbit and can have a tendency to dry out really easily, I would definitely not use wild rabbit for this dish so go visit your butcher and order yourself a farmed rabbit and put something new in your belly.
Spiced Rabbit Tagine
Rabbit is a beautifully lean and sustainable meat and this North African style spiced rabbit tagine is simple quick and wonderfully exotic.
1Whole Farmed Rabbit.Jointed ask your butcher to do this as it is much more difficult than a chicken.
1Large Onion.Cut in half and then in to half moons about 175g.
1Small Red Pepper.Cut into 5mm strips.
100gDried Apricots.Cut in half.
1TbspHarissa Paste.You can make it to your own recipe or buy store bought.
20gButter.Diced into 5mm dice.
Preheat your oven to 180° C.
Mix a tablespoon of the olive oil with the sumac and massage into the rabbit and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan with a lid that is oven proof and heat over a medium high heat, then add the onion and cinnamon stick and cook for 5 minutes.
Then add the garlic and red pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Stir in the cumin, Harissa paste and honey before adding the almonds and apricots along with 1/4 tsp salt and 50ml water, stir and place the jointed rabbit pieces on top.
Then add the lid to the pan and place in the oven for 25 minutes, the idea is to steam the rabbit so make sure it is a tightly fitted lid.
Pour the boiling chicken stock over the cous cous and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
After the rabbit has been cooking for 15 minutes fork through the cous cous and dot with the butter, then cover with a lid and then place in the oven with the rabbit for the final 10 minutes of cooking.
When ready to serve, take a quarter of the vegetable mix and stir through the cous cous, then plate with the remainder of the vegetables and the rabbit.
The cooking time will vary depending on your rabbit but the internal temperature when checked with an instant read thermometer should be 67°C when you remove it from the oven and should be rested until the temperature reaches 71°C.
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