Saturday 15 August 2020

Rabbit, boned, rolled, and stuffed


Delicious on the day, and arguably even better, served cold a day later, when the flavour of the jelly in which the vegetables sit is intense and splendid! 

Serves four – six. 

Ingredients: 1 boned rabbit; 3 slices parma ham; 1 tsp chopped rosemary and thyme; seasoning; 3 large carrots;2 sticks celery; 1 medium onion; 2cups white wine. 2 tbs olive oil. 



  1. Peel one of the carrots, and slice it longitudinally into 4. Cut half of one of the celery sticks into pieces the same size as the carrot pieces. In a small pan of boiling, salted water, blanch the carrot and celery pieces until tender, about five minutes. Chop all of the remaining carrots and celery, along with the onion.
  2. Heat the oven to 160 degrees C.
  3. Lay the boned rabbit out, flat, and sprinkle it with the herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Lay the parma ham slices over the rabbit, and arrange the blanched carrot and celery so that the rabbit will be rolled up around them. Roll the rabbit, and secure it (either use trussing thread, or skewers….these days, I use a very useful powder which is called ‘meat glue’).
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy casserole, and in this colour the rabbit on all sides. Remove the rabbit from the casserole and put into it the chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Over medium-high heat, cook the vegetables until they begin to collapse, and then return the rabbit to the casserole. Pour the wine over the top, and season the whole thing, quite generously.
  5. On the stove, bring the mixture to the boil, and then cover it, and transfer to the pre-heated oven, for an hour.
  6. Let it sit for five minutes or so before you slice the rabbit, as that way the slices are more likely to stay in one piece.
  7. Serve two slices per person, along with a spoonful of the vegetables. Good theatre on the plate, and absolutely delicious.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Pasta con Ragù


It’s High Summer – too hot to faff in the kitchen. Hence, pasta con ragu (simple Spag Bog, in plain-speak).

 Ragù has many uses (with pasta, in risotto, in lasagne or ravioli…), and so it’s worth making a batch, and keeping in the fridge or freezer and use it up over time. 

Ingredients: 3 tbs olive oil; ½ cup each of finely diced carrot, onion, and celery; 2 cups minced beef; 1 tsp salt; 1 cup red wine; 1 can tomatoes. 


1. Heat the oil in a pan, and add to it the carrot, celery and onion. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for about five minutes, until the contents have all collapsed.

2. Add the minced beef and salt. Continue cooking until the meat has lost its raw colour, and then add the wine.

3. Over high heat, reduce the wine by about half, and then add the tomatoes. As soon as the mixture comes to the boil, turn the heat down as far as it will go. Partially cover the pan, and leave to simmer for about an hour and      a half. Check it from time to time, to ensure nothing disastrous has happened – but basically you can just leave it to do its own thing.

And that’s it….

Monday 10 August 2020

Granita of Raspberries, Red Wine, & Mint...


This is ….SO…seriously …delicious!

For four servings.

Ingredients: 500ml red wine (the lighter the wine, the more the raspberry flavour will come through; with a stronger wine, I find that the end result is more like blackcurrant than raspberry – which is equally delicious, but a different thing…); 75g sugar; half a dozen sprigs of mint; 300g fresh raspberries.


  1. In a small pan, bring the wine, sugar, and mint sprigs to the boil, and then pour into a bowl.
  2. Liquidise the raspberries, and then sieve them, and ad this puree to the wine in the bowl.
  3. Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge, before churning to a soft, smooth texture (yes, I know a granita should traditionally be made in an ice tray in the freezer, breaking the crystals up from time to time; I just happen to prefer it this way, where it turns out more with the rich texture of a sorbet.)
  4. Serve, garnished with more mint, if you like. And then, taste it and swoon…

Sunday 9 August 2020

Tart of Tomato and red peppper


A re-working of something from Robuchon. A phyllo and almond tart shell, filled with a thick purée of tomato and herbs, flavoured with garlic and onion, and, beneath a topping of tomato slices, a layer of finely diced red pepper. An excellent first course, at any time of the year.

For two individual tarts.

Ingredients: 1 sheet phyllo; 1 tbs slivered almonds; three medium tomatoes; 1 small onion; 2 cloves garlic; 2 tbs olive oil; 1/4 medium red pepper; 1 tsp dried thyme; approx 40g butter.


1. Heat the oven to 190 degrees C. Melt the butter, and use some of it to brush the phyllo; divide the phyllo in 4, and use it to make two individual tart shells of two layers of phyllo each. Divide the slivered almonds between the two shells, between the two layers of pastry. Bake for about ten minutes, until crisp and brown, and remove from the oven.

2. Slice two of the tomatoes into thin rounds, and chop the remainder. Put the sliced tomatoes in a bowl, salt them lightly and then spoon a little melted butter over the top. Set aside. In the remaining melted butter cook the onion, finely diced, along with the chopped garlic, until it has softened,  and then add to this the chopped tomato and half of the dried thyme.Stirring from time to time, cook over high heat, until the whole mixture has reduced to a dense mass. Taste and season.

3. Pile the tomato mass into the pastry shells, then cover with a layer of finely diced red eper, and finally arrange the tomato slices over the top. Sprinkle the remaining thyme on top, and bake for about 25 minutes, just until the tomato starts to colour. Remove from the oven and drizzle a little olive oil over the surface of each tart. Allow to sit for a few minutes before transferring the tarts from their tins to serving plates.