ONE FOR THE POT:
A quick-cook rabbit dish for lazy days and BBQs
Spring has sprung, and for me the milder weather always brings with it enticing thoughts of eating outdoors. In my family, a good summer is measured by how many times we’ve been able to dine al fresco, and my parents regularly speak of those halcyon days when we ate out on the patio every night for two weeks before the inevitable teeth chattering began and they had to usher us back indoors.
So, with not-too-distant plans to dust off the barbecue and invite some friends round for a beer or two, I’ve turned to warmer climes for inspiration this month, with a rabbit recipe flavoured with spices from India, cooked on a griddle pan or barbecue and accompanied by a fresh herb and chilli chutney.
Rabbit doesn’t have to be cooked long and slow; marinating the meat helps to tenderise it – as well as adding flavour – allowing you to cook it quickly, while the meat stays tender and juicy.
Dip these aromatic skewers straight into the bright green sauce; or slide the meat off and they’ll make a great little ‘sandwich’ placed in a flatbread and drizzled with some chutney.
GRIDDLED TIKKA RABBIT SKEWERS WITH FRESH MINT AND PARSLEY CHUTNEY
2 whole rabbits, deboned and cut into approx 2.5cm dice
FOR THE TIKKA MARINADE
1 tsp coriander seeds ½ tsp cumin seeds 2 tsp garam masala 1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp cayenne pepper 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated 2cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated a pinch of sea salt 2 tbsp tomato puree 2 tbsp groundnut oil 300g natural yoghurt
FOR THE CHUTNEY
28g mint 28g parsley 1 green chilli 1 clove garlic 2cm piece of ginger, peeled 1 tsp sugar ½ tsp sea salt juice of 1½ limes 8 tbsp water
1. To make the marinade: lightly toast the spices in a small pan over a medium heat until they become aromatic (approx. 2-3 minutes). Tip the spices into a food processor, along with the rest of the marinade ingredients, apart from the yoghurt, and blitz to a smooth paste. Stir into the yoghurt.
2. Place the rabbit pieces in a non-metallic dish and pour over the marinade, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Refrigerate overnight, or for at least three hours.
3. Remove the rabbit from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature before cooking. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using. When you are ready to cook, thread the meat onto the skewers.
4. Cook on a hot barbecue or griddle pan, brushed with a little oil, for 10-15 minutes. You may need to cook them in batches.
5. While your rabbit is cooking, make your chutney: put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth consistency. Check the seasoning before pouring into a serving dish.
6. Serve the skewers with flatbreads or naans, with the chutney on the side for dipping.
‘Rabbit doesn’t have to be cooked long and slow; marinating the meat helps to tenderise it – as well as adding flavour – allowing you to cook it quickly’
TOP TIP If you don’t want to use a griddle pan or barbecue, cook in a preheated oven (180°C) for 18-20 minutes. To give a bit more colour, place under a hot grill for a few minutes.