ONE FOR THE POT:

A quick-cook rab­bit dish for lazy days and BBQs

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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

Serves 4

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

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

TO SERVE

flat­breads/naan bread

METHOD

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.

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