Rabbit with Chocolate

This is a very early Spanish recipe which was presumably brought back from the New World. As they have no rabbits in Mexico or South America I imagine the dish was designed for guinea pig or even chihuahua. However, it works very well with rabbit and has an excellent flavour.

Ingredients

  • 900g-1.5kg/2โ€“3lb rabbit, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 55g/2oz lard
  • 115g/4oz salt pork, finely diced
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 shallots, peeled
  • ยฝ glass dry red wine
  • 120ml/4fl oz water
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped generous pinch of thyme
  • 55g/2oz blanched almonds
  • 55g/2oz pine nuts
  • 1ยฝ tsp unsweetened plain chocolate, finely grated

Method

In a heavy-based lidded pan melt the lard and fry the pork until crisp and browned. Remove to kitchen paper to drain. Mix together the flour and salt and pepper and coat the rabbit pieces, brown them carefully in the fat in the pan and remove to a plate. Fry the shallots in the fat and remove to the plate with the rabbit. De-glaze the pan with wine and water, return the pork and rabbit, add the bayleaf and herbs. Reduce to a low heat, cover and cook gently for 30 minutes.

Grind the almonds and pine nuts in a blender or pestle and mortar, and mix with the grated chocolate. Add this and the onions to the rabbit, stir thoroughly and add a little more wine if dry. Cover again and cook for a further 30 minutes or until rabbit is tender. Serve at once.

,