With recipes passed down from generation to generation, Shane draws inspiration for his rabbit stew from a childhood favourite taught to him by his grandfather. This recipe requires the use of a dehydrator to make the sun-dried tomato paste. In a pinch you could use a store-bought paste.
- 1 large (about 1 kg) New Zealand farmed white rabbit, cut into large pieces
- salt and pepper
- 50 ml olive oil
- 2 brown onions, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 5 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp salt
- 750 ml (3 cups) red wine
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomato paste
- 55 g (¼ cup) brown sugar
- parsley leaves, to serve
Sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 kg oxheart tomatoes, quartered
- generous pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 100 g pink fir potatoes
- 150 g purple sapphire potatoes
- 100 g baby Dutch cream potatoes
- 150 g baby King Edward potatoes
- 100 g kestrel potatoes
- 4 French shallots, finely chopped
- 20 marjoram sprigs, leaves picked
- 20 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, leaves picked
- olive oil, to drizzle
- juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- ½ small baguette
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 40 g unsalted butter, melted
- 60 g blanched almonds, roughly broken
- 80 g golden raisins
- finely grated rind of 1–2 lemons
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.
You will need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.
To make the sun-dried tomato paste, arrange the tomato quarters in a single layer on a silicone-lined dehydrator tray. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the tomato then place the tray in the dehydrator and cook at 60°C for 24–48 hours. The tomato is ready when dry and shrivelled up. Once tomato is finished drying, place in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until required. The sun-dried tomato paste will keep covered with a layer of olive oil, in the fridge for 1 month.
Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Place a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over high heat. Add the oil and rabbit pieces and cook, until evenly browned. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the bay leaves and all the spices and cook for a further 1–2 minutes or until aromatic. Pour in the red wine, then stir and scrape the base of the pan with the spoon. Add the sun-dried tomato paste and brown sugar. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 2–2½ hours or until the meat is falling from the bone. Remove the rabbit from the stew and gently pull the meat away from the bones in large pieces. Bring the liquid to the boil and cook for 10–15 minutes until slightly thickened. Return the meat to the dish and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, place all the potato in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 10–15 minutes or until just cooked through. Drain potatoes and very lightly break apart with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients, season to taste and toss gently to combine.
Process the baguette in a food processor to form coarse crumbs. Place a large frying pan over high heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter begins to foam, add the baguette crumbs and cook for 2–3 minutes or until lightly coloured. Add the almonds and cook for 1–2 minutes or until the crumbs and almonds are golden. Add the remaining ingredients, season to taste and toss to combine.
Spoon the rabbit and some sauce into a large bowl, top with gremolata and the parsley. Serve the smashed potatoes to the side.