Wild Rabbit, Pumpkin & Pea Risotto

Preparation time
60 mins
Cooking time
120 mins
4 people
Meal course
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Wild Rabbit, Pumpkin & Pea Risotto

2 wild Rabbits – Legs removed and saddles trimmed and boned ***
1 brown onion
2 cloves Garlic
500gm Butternut Pumpkin
1½ cups of Arborio rice
150ml White Wine
6 cups of fresh Rabbit Stock – see recipe below
½ cup of frozen Peas – defrosted
100gm Butter
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
4 slices Flat Pancetta
Parmesan to serve

Rabbit Stock
Legs and offcuts from 2 wild Rabbits
1 brown onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
2 garlic cloves
1 small bunch of sage
1 cup of white wine
6 cups of water

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat a large saucepan over a low heat and add the onion, garlic and finely diced pumpkin with 3 tbs of olive oil. Cook stirring for a few minutes until the vegetables are becoming translucent and the pumpkin is starting to break down, then add the rice. Continue stirring and cooking the rice until the grains are becoming translucent then add the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Season well.
  2. At this stage, start to ladle in the hot stock, 1 ladle at a time. Waiting until the stock has reduced and evaporated until adding the next. Stir frequently (This step is very important to ensure a silky, smooth risotto and will take about 20 minutes to use all the stock).
  3. Once you are down to the last ladle of stock, stir it in with defrosted peas and shredded rabbit leg meat. Bring back to the boil, then immediately take off the heat. Dot the butter over the risotto, replace the lid and leave to sit in a warm place for 5 minutes while you sear the fillets.
  4. Wrap each rabbit fillet in a slice of flat pancetta. Heat a fry pan over a high heat. Toss the rabbit Fillets in 1 tsp olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Quickly sear the rabbit fillets for about 2 minutes either side until just cooked through (do not overcook as the rabbit will dry out and be tough), then remove from the pan and rest for a couple of minutes. Cut each fillet into 3 even pieces on the diagonal. To serve – divide the Risotto evenly between your plates and top with a cut fillet and a grating of fresh parmesan.
  5. *** To make the Rabbit Stock - Toss the rabbit legs in 1 tbs olive oil and season well. Heat a medium sized heavy based saucepan or dutch oven over a medium-high heat and fry the rabbit legs until they are starting to brown, then remove and set aside. In the same pan, fry the diced onion, carrot and celery. Add the halved garlic cloves and the sage, then deglaze the pan with the wine. Cook down for 2 minutes then add 7 cups of water with the rabbit legs and any offcuts. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 1.5 hours. Once cooked, remove the legs, shred the meat and set aside, then drain the stock through a fine sieve (and preferably a piece of muslin) and leave on a slow, covered simmer until ready to use.
  6. Tip *** To Bone and disect the Rabbit, you will need to first remove the front legs at the shoulder joint, and the back legs at the joint. You will then remove the entire rib section, by running your knife along the last rib and cutting through the spine on both sides, and the bony hind section by cutting through the spine. Trim the tough belly flaps, then reserve all these offcuts for the stock. At this stage, you need to remove the fillets by running your knife carefully along the spinal cord on both sides and running your knife the whole way around the spine until you have 2 fillets, one from either side, leaving behind the tough silverskin. It is incredibly important to remove all the silverskin from the fillets as it will constrict and render them inedible during a quick cook, however as the legs are slowcooked, it is not neccesary to remove the silverskin from them. Tip *** If you are scared about butchering the Rabbit, ask the person who sold it or caught it if they would be so inclined... Or just watch a YouTube tutorial. Easy. Tip *** This recipe would also work equally well with Chicken, but Chicken is BOOOO-RING!

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