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Rabbit Casserole with Dumplings

Country families were always glad to get their hands on a fresh rabbit to help stretch the week's food. and rabbit still makes a cheap meal, served in a well-flavoured casserole with plenty of vegetables. Dumplings are an East Anglian favourite - to be called a 'Norfolk dumpling' just means you are delightfully plump!

ingredients

serves 4
100 g (4 oz) streaky bacon rashers, rinded and chopped
4 rabbit portions
4 celery sticks, chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed
1 bay leaf
225 g (8 oz) carrots, sliced
30 ml (2 tbsp) plain wholemeal flour
568 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
salt and pepper
75 g (3 oz) self-raising flour
40 g (1 1/2 oz) shredded beef suet
15 ml (1 tbsp) snipped fresh chives

method

1. Fry the bacon in a flameproof casserole until the fat runs. Add the rabbit and fry gently until browned. Add the celery, leeks, bay leaf and carrots and mix well. Sprinkle in the wholemeal flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and gradually add the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Season to taste.

2. Cover and bake at 170°C (325°F) mark 3 for about 1 1/2 hours or until the rabbit is tender.

3. To make the dumplings, mix the self-raising flour, suet, chives and salt and pepper together. Add enough cold water to make a soft dough.

4. Twenty to twenty-five minutes before the end of the cooking time, shape the dough into 12 balls and place on top of the casserole. Cover again and bake until the dumplings are well risen and cooked through. Serve immediately with runner beans.

What did you think?

20 people have helped to review this recipe. Thankyou!

My First Rabbit Casserole
posted by Mira @ 11:41AM, 9/16/09
I used this recipe to cook 4 portions of wild rabbit which I had bought from a farmer at a local Food Fair (for £3.00!) The dumplings are a really neat idea as they can just be plonked on top towards the end, less hassle than conjuring up mashed potato etc. I cooked it in a covered casserole dish on the hob and the actual cooking time was about 15mins less than the one shown above. Always test the tenderness of the meat with a sharp knife while it's cooking to see how it's going etc. Also oven cooking may dry it out more. I actually forgot to add the wholemeal flour to the stock, but this did not spoil the end result. I also included the kidneys,heart and pieces of liver that came with the rabbit and this really enriched the taste. Bacon is a must and goes really well. Also don't be tempted to put the bones in the trash afterwards as they make really good stock.
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