rab­bit ragu

The Field - - Younger In The Field -

Do be sure to source the finest pasta you can af­ford for this dish, ide­ally fresh egg pap­pardelle... shells and bow ties just don’t cut it with this one.

Heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/GAS Mark 2. Sea­son the rab­bit and veal with some salt and pep­per. In a heavy casse­role pan, brown the meat in the oil on a medium/high heat. Re­move and set aside. Re­duce the heat, gen­tly fry the pancetta in half of the but­ter and re­main­ing fat for 3-4 min­utes, then add the fen­nel seeds and chilli flakes, and fry for 1 minute more.

Add the diced veg­eta­bles and gar­lic and turn the heat down to low, ad­ding a pinch of salt to draw out the mois­ture.

Af­ter 10-15 min­utes, when the veg is com­pletely soft, place the meat back in and add the sherry. Al­low to come to a sim­mer and add the tomato purée and enough stock to cover. Cover loosely and place in the oven for 3-4 hours, un­til the meat is fall­ing apart and the liq­uid has re­duced by half. Re­move the rab­bit joints and al­low to cool, then re­move the meat from the bones, roughly break­ing it up and re­turn­ing it to the cook­ing liq­uid.

Re­duce fur­ther on the hob if needed, un­til the mix­ture is a glo­ri­ous thick sludge.

Cook the pap­pardelle as in­structed on the packet, or for 3-4 min­utes if made fresh. Turn the pasta through the sauce with a lit­tle of the pasta cook­ing wa­ter.

Be­fore serv­ing, stir through a final knob of but­ter, a cou­ple of hand­fuls of grated parme­san, the le­mon zest and the chopped pars­ley.

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