Wild rabbit rillettes

Wild rabbit rillettes

Wild rabbit rillettes

I’ve enjoyed pork rillettes and heard wonderful things about duck rillettes. I thought the wild rabbit I get at market would lend itself well to rillettes because they’re packed full of flavour and revel in slow cooking. I decided to make this as the basis for one of the layers in my rabbit and chestnut terrine. It is delicious like this, as well as with the variations for the terrine. I found making rillettes to be a pleasurable endeavour, worth doing if you have friends coming for dinner, to serve as a lovely starter. I also think these rillettes will make a lovely weekend lunch served on toast, possible with a little salad.

Makes about 2 cups

1 litre rabbit stock
4 wild rabbit legs
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, sliced
12 sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepperberries, ground
125 grams butter

Bring the rabbit stock to a boil. Add the rabbit legs, bay leaf, garlic, onion and sage. When it returns to the boil, turn the heat right down so the ingredients just simmer. If you need to, add enough water to make sure the rabbit is covered with liquid. Simmer gently for about 5 hours, or until the meat falls of the bone. Allow it to cool to room temperature.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Remove the rabbit from the pan and separate the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and shred the meat very finely, with two forks. Mash the onion and garlic, and shred into the meat mixture with the pepperberries and salt.

Meanwhile, return the liquid to the heat and reduce to about one cup. Add the butter and melt.

Combine the shredded meat with the liquid, mixing well, continuing to shred the meat; you want it to be the consistency of a course pate.

Refrigerate for a day or two to allow the flavour to develop; or pack the rillettes into jars and welt over a little more butter before screwing up the lids to last several weeks. Serve at room temperature.

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