Rabbit crochette with fresh pesto
This has been on the menu at Cin Cin (an Italian restaurant in Brighton) since day one and is the most popular dish there by far
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3rabbit legs (order from your butcher)
- 1onion, roughly chopped
- ½a bulb garlic
- 1stick celery, roughly chopped
- 1leek, roughly chopped
- 750ml chicken stock
- 125g unsalted butter
- 75g plain flour
- 50ml whole milk
- 100g parmesan, finely grated
- a bunch basil
- 50g parmesan, finely grated
- 50g pine nuts, toasted
- ½lemon, juiced
- 150ml olive oil (not extra-virgin)
- 75g plain flour
- 2eggs, beaten
- 150g dried breadcrumbs
Step 1Put the rabbit legs and vegetables in a large pan with enough stock to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours or until the meat on the legs is tender and falling off the bone. Pass the stock through a sieve into a measuring jug – you’ll need 500ml, so if it has reduced a little, top it up with water. Once the legs have cooled slightly, pick the meat from the bones into a bowl, discarding the bones.
Step 2For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, then add the flour, cook out gently over a medium heat, then gradually add the stock a little at a time, whisking thoroughly to avoid lumps. Once all the stock is in, finish by adding the milk and the grated parmesan – it should be a very thick, creamy sauce. Mix with the rabbit, beating to break up any clusters of meat. Season and allow to cool.
Step 3Once fully cool, tip into a clingfilm-lined 20cm x 30cm baking tin and freeze until completely set.
Step 4Make the pesto by blending all the ingredients but add the oil a little at a time until you have a thick consistency and not too much excess oil.
Step 5Remove the terrine from the baking tin onto a chopping board and discard the clingfilm. Line two trays with baking paper. Cut the terrine into quarters lengthways, so you have four long strips, then cut each into 2½ cm pieces. Put onto the trays and freeze again until completely set.
Step 6To pané, put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Roll each rabbit piece first in the flour, next in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs. Keep in the fridge until needed (or freeze if not cooking right away but thaw before cooking). Fill a pan no more than a third full with oil and heat to 180C or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Deep-fry the crochette, in batches, for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and the insides piping hot. Serve with a dollop of the pesto for dipping.