“For me, this dish celebrates all that’s good about spring. Rabbit is one of the favourite meats of Antequera, a city and municipality considered to be the heart of Andalucía. I’ve used farmed white rabbit here – they’re sustainable and the lean white meat is very delicate in flavour. I also like to cook rabbit on the bone as it adds so much flavour and helps keep the meat moist.” Shane Delia, Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey
- 500 ml (2 cups) olive oil
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 whole rabbit ( about 2 kg) cut into 8 pieces (you can ask your butcher to do this), belly flaps, kidneys and liver reserved
- 200 g chicken livers, cleaned
- sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
- 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp saffron powder
- 250 ml (1 cup) sherry vinegar
- 1 litre boiling water, approximately
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- plain flour, for dusting
- 1 small loaf day-old bread, torn into large chunks
- 1 small head witlof, leaves picked and washed
- 4 small globe artichoke hearts, cooked (see note)
- 250 g podded fresh or frozen peas, blanched and refreshed in iced water
- 250 g double podded fresh broad beans (see note)
- 6 slices jamon, torn
- 1 tomato, halved, seeds removed, finely diced
- 100 ml olive oil
- 25 ml sherry vinegar
- 100 g blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large heavy-based frying pan over low heat and stir until the garlic starts to turn golden. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase the heat to medium, then add the rabbit liver, kidneys and chicken livers and cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the rabbit pieces and cook until browned all over. Season with salt and pepper, then add the paprika and stir well. Add the onion, cinnamon, bay leaf and saffron. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the sherry vinegar and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until reduced. Add enough of the boiling water to cover, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 45 minutes until the meat falls off the bone.
Meanwhile, using a meat mallet, beat the rabbit belly flaps until an even thickness all over. Thinly slice into strips, then season all over with salt. Set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse off the salt, then pat dry on paper towel.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 180°C. Dust the rabbit belly strips in flour and shake off the excess. Deep-fry for 2-3 minutes or until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Add the bread chunks to the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel.
When tender, remove the rabbit pieces from the stock and, when cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and set aside. Remove and discard the cinnamon and bay leaf from the cooking liquid and reserve the cooking liquid.
Place the fried bread, reserved rabbit cooking liquid, fried garlic, kidneys and livers in a food processor and puree until thick and creamy. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the picked rabbit meat just before serving.
To make the salad, place the witlof in a bowl with the artichoke, peas, broad beans, jamón, tomato and fried rabbit strips. Whisk the olive oil, sherry vinegar and almonds together and season to taste. Pour over the salad, toss to coat, then serve with the rabbit mixture.
• To prepare the artichokes, trim off the outer leaves until you reach the pale yellow leaves, then scoop out the hairy “choke” and discard. As you work, place the prepared artichokes in a large bowl of cold water with the juice of ½ lemon to prevent them from discolouring. To cook the artichoke hearts, boil in lightly salted water until tender. This recipe only uses the artichoke heart, but you can steam or boil the outer leaves and serve with a mustard vinaigrette for dipping.
• To double pod the broad beans, first remove them from the large pods, then drop into lightly salted boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, refresh in iced water, then slip the skins off.
Shane Delia's Moorish Spice Journey starts Thursday 15 October 2015 at 8pm on SBS and finishes 17 December 2015. Visit the Shane Delia's Moorish Spice Journey program page to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Shane.