Tag Archives: rosemary

Rabbit and Rosemary Ragu

3 Oct

As part of the year of the offal, rabbit (and all other game) is totally allowed. Wild animals are definitely free range, they can choose their own diet and usually death by shotgun is pretty surprising and fast. A win all round.*

Rabbit is a meat I really love, but whenever I’ve cooked with it before, I always feel like I haven’t helped it fulfill its culinary potential. A bit dry. A bit flavourless. This time, I was determined to do some good cooking and have a lovely end product. To this end I employed my slow cooker (I know I’m repetitive), to simmer the rabbit slowly, creating a delicious stock and keeping the meat moist.

Rabbity goodness. I put the rabbit (already jointed) in the slow cooker with a generous sprig of rosemary (sent by my foodie penpal) and covered it all with water. I then left it on high for 8 hours.

The next stage was to separate the stock from the meat (with the future idea of rabbit risotto), then the meat from the bones, thus creating a platter of rabbit for sandwiches and also said risotto. I did some excellent anatomy as well. Rabbits have chunky thigh bones – check out the scary spine too …



To make your rabbit ragu, it is of course simple. Cook an onion with some garlic til it is all softened. Add a teaspoon of rosemary and as much rabbit as you feel like. Add a tin of tomatoes and simmer for about twenty minutes. Cook your pasta ten minutes before, drain and serve with some tasty ragu atop!



Next time you’re buying a chicken to cook and separate, please think about doing it with a rabbit.


*I do recognise that sometimes the birds are injured and need their neck wringing. That is less pleasant, but still if you have a good gundog pretty fast. I would rather that than leukemia.

Kidney Rosemary Skewers

11 Jul

What it says on the tin really.

Take two lamb kidneys, cut in half and de-core. Take a long stick of rosemary, push in one side and then back through – it gives very easily, don’t worry.

If you have time let them rest for an hour or two in the fridge, so the kidney get all the rosemary sucked in.

Grill on a BBQ or fry on a high heat2 mins each side (4 if you like your offal well done).

Two ingredients. A whole deliciousness.

More things should be on rosemary skewers.


Veal Tail Risotto – Nose to Tail Fortnight Day 1

1 May

So if you read this previous post, you’ll know I’m eating my way along the animal this fortnight, beginning at the tail.

Day 1 began with tail, rather than head, because I didn’t plan very well, so had to get some veal tail out the freezer. (Offal drawer is not big enough to accommodate a whole head at the moment.) This veal tail I purchased a few weeks ago from the Alternative Meat Company along with my hearts, hanger steaks and tongues. Veal does have a beefy taste, but quite a light one. It tastes pretty sweet too. I wanted to use some flavours that wouldn’t cover the veal taste. With ox tail, recipes tend to use quite a lot of heavy flavours like star anise and chilli and I wanted to avoid that.

Veal tails are smaller than oxtails, so I used two. I was cooking for three people.

To begin with I decided to poach the tails in water for a few hours to separate the meat from the bones and to make a veal stock.

The water looks a bit pink because I added the defrosted blood from the cellophane packets to the water. It;s all good. I let the bones simmer all afternoon, so for maybe four hours. Keep topping up the water so it doesn’t boil dry. When the meat is separating itself from the bones, take the pieces out, pull the meat off and put to one side. Bones, gristle and cartilage to the bin. You should now have a bowl of poached veal and a jug of veal stock!

ooh look at all the goodness in there

The stock should look cloudy. This will be the base stock for your risotto, it should smell a little beefy and a little chickeny.

Then, to the risotto making.

Finely chop 1 onion, 3 cloves of smoked garlic and 2 sticks of celery. Heat a tablespoon of oil in your risotto pan, add the finely chopped ingredients and sweat them down gently so its all softened and lovely. Add 1 tsp dried parsley, half tsp dried rosemary and quarter tsp ground nutmeg. Stir it all together. Add the risotto rice -enough for 3 people – about 350g I think? I judged it by shakes from the packet though … Stir again. Add the veal bits and stir around.

The you’re at the point where you can add your stock –  a little at a time so the rice swells with the fluid, then add a bit more and so on. I’ve assumed that most people reading have made a risotto before – if you haven’t then please get in touch and I can give you more deets.

When you’re happy that your rice is cooked and lovely, take the pan off the heat and stir in about 500g of fresh spinach. The heat from the rosotto will wilt it down fast, but you loose very few of the nutrients from it.

Serve with grated cheese (parmesan for authenticity, cheddar for convenience if you’re me).

I understand, mostly what you can see is a pile of cheese.

To sum up, the ingredients you need are:

1 kg veal tail, several pints of water, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 sticks celery, 1 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp rosemary, 1/4 nutmeg, 350g risotto rice, 500g spinach, cheese for grating.

I hope you like the freshness of the ingredients. I think this was a good start to Nose to Tail Fortnight! I’m going to try and blog each day moving my way along the animal – here’s where we are now: