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12-hour rabbit bolognese
main courses | serves 14
"This is a wonderful evolution of that humble meat sauce that we all love," says Jamie. "You can create around 14 incredible-tasting portions of bolognese out of one little rabbit, so it’s beyond cheap to make. And most importantly, you can knock it together in around three minutes flat, then just allow the oven to turn it into a heavenly and delicious bolognese that you can portion up and freeze."
1. Preheat the oven to 110C/gas ¼. Put your largest casserole-type pan over a medium heat and add a glug of olive oil and the bacon. Once it’s lightly golden, add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and lay the whole rabbit and offal on top.
2. Drop in the whole garlic bulb along with the leeks, carrots, celery and onions, then add the porcini, the tinned tomatoes, beer, tomato purée and just enough water to cover everything (about 1 litre). Bring to the boil and season generously. Finely grate in half the nutmeg, put the lid on, then pop the casserole into the oven and leave to cook for 12 hours.
3. Once cooked, let the stew cool down a little then get yourself a pair of clean rubber gloves and another large pan. Pick through small handfuls of stew at a time, taking out any bones or vegetable skins. Discard the herbs, and flake the beautiful meat off the bones and into the clean pan. Scrunch the vegetables and offal as you go and break them into smaller pieces.
4. Pour any juices left behind into the new pan, then go back in and have another rummage to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Have a taste and correct the seasoning. Add the lemon zest and pick in a few thyme tips to brighten up the sauce.
5. Divvy up the sauce between a few sandwich bags and either freeze them, or keep in the fridge. When you want to make your rabbit bolognese, simply reheat a small ladle of sauce per person in a pan over a medium heat and cook around 80 grams of pasta per person.
6. Boil according to packet instructions in salted water, then drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Toss with your sauce and a little splash of the cooking water to make it silky then add a handful of cheese. Taste and check the seasoning then serve immediately with another good sprinkling of cheese, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some fresh thyme tips.
Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo David Loftus
from Issue 23
ingredients• Olive oil
• 3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 2 rosemary sprigs
• 1 whole rabbit, skinned (ask your butcher to do this), including offal
• 1 garlic bulb, left whole, outer skin peeled
• 2 leeks, trimmed
• 2 carrots, trimmed
• 2 celery stalks, trimmed
• 2 red onions, skin on, washed
• 20g dried porcini mushrooms
• 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
• 1 x 500ml can of light, smooth beer or ale
• 2 tbsp tomato purée
• 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
• Grated zest of ½ lemon
• Parmesan or cheddar cheese, for grating
• Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
• A few thyme sprigs