Wild rabbits. Millions of the buggers, infesting the countryside, yet the vast majority of us shy away, seeing them as a ‘difficult’ meat alongside other game. But they have a mild flavour and excellent texture, though they do tend towards dryness. Wild are the best and any decent butcher should be able to get hold of them. He’ll also joint them for you. They’re cheap, too. Farmed rabbits are available but have all the depth of a baking sheet. This is a dish with a proper West Country burr, to be accompanied by a dry cider, preferably from Burrow Hill in Somerset.
Add the butter to the pan, then tip in the onion. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the onion for 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Stir in the remaining
Return the rabbit to the casserole, taste and season. Cover, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bone. (Alternatively, transfer the casserole to an oven preheated to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2 for 2 hours.)
Using a slotted spoon, remove the rabbit from the casserole and set aside on a warm plate. Pour the cream into the casserole and simmer gently for a few minutes, until slightly thicker. Return the rabbit to the casserole, along with any juices, then adjust the seasoning and sprinkle over the parsley. Serve with the cabbage and mashed potatoes.
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