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Part 3: Thom’s Rabbit Ragu

Rabbit Ragu

Rabbit is one of the leanest, healthiest and most sustainable meats available in the UK. When you slow cook it until it falls off the bone in a healthy tomato based sauce (containing the excellent antioxidant Lycopene ) you have got yourself an all-round, cheap easy and amazingly healthy supper.


Ingredients (feeds 4/5 people)

1kg rabbit meat, on the bone
200g of streaky bacon, pancetta or minced pork
A few good glugs of olive oil or a couple of good knobs of butter
3 x 400g tins chopped tomato’s
1 x 200g tube of tomato puree
1-2 glasses of red wine, something full-bodied like rioja or cabinet sauvignon
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
Half a grated nutmeg
A good handful of fresh basil
1 tsp of dried basil or mixed herbs
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper (about 20g of salt will be right. It may seem a lot but there is nothing that brings out the flavour in tomato’s like salt)

The Method

The great thing about this recipe is that you only need to use 1 large stewing pot from start to finish, just make sure it will be big enough to fit everything in!

Melt the butter or oil in the bottom of your large pan and add the chopped onion and garlic to soften until golden brown, this will really give depth of flavour.

Next add the bacon/pork on top and brown, drawing out the fat in the pork. Rabbit has virtually no natural fat in it and the pork will add a little plus another great meaty dimension of flavour. Lastly add the rabbit joints for a few minutes before, quite simply, chucking all the other ingredients in apart from the fresh basil, popping the lid on and putting in the oven at 170-180 degrees for a minimum of 2 hours, stirring every 45 minutes to an hour. Young rabbits will be ready from one and a half to two hours, more mature rabbits may take up to 3 hours before the meat EASILY falls of the bone and is lovely and tender.

5 minutes before serving add plenty of chopped, fresh basil and 1-2 tbsp of crème fraiche or single cream if you fancy giving the sauce a slightly thicker, shiny glaze.