I love The Hunger Games movies, they are so entertaining and the fact that there is a strong female lead who kicks butt makes my love for it even greater. To celebrate the release of the new The Hunger Games movie Mocking Jay, Part 1 I decided to create this dish. I thought long and hard about what I would make and used the movies title as inspiration. When I think of game meat I instantly think of Rabbit, so Rabbit it is! Rabbit is used a lot in Portuguese cuisine, cooked in either red or white wine it’s beautifully tender and very versatile. If you have never tried Rabbit before give this recipe a go, the use of big bold Portuguese flavours go wonderfully with the gamey flavour of the Rabbit. If you cannot find Rabbit you can replace it with chicken instead.
1) Heat oil in a large pot over a medium heat, then tumble bacon into oil and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked remove the bacon and set aside until needed.
2) Turn the heat up to high, sear half the rabbit on all sides for 6 minutes on each side or until lightly golden then remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining rabbit.
3) Lower the heat back to medium, if the pot is dry drizzle in a little extra oil, add the butter to the pot. Once the butter is beginning to foam toss in the onion with a good pinch of salt and sauté for 15 minutes or until the onions are golden. Meanwhile pick the leaves off the parsley stalks and finely chop then set aside for garnish. Roughly chop the parsley stalks and add them to your onions along with the bay leaf, bacon, paprika and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
4) Next pour in the wine and let it bubble away for about 30 seconds, then add the can of tomatoes and break them up using a wooden spoon. Gently add the seared rabbit into the liquid along with the oregano and sage. The liquid should just cover the rabbit, if it doesn’t you can add a little water. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
5) Once it has come to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 1 hour or until the rabbit is cooked through and tender.
6) Using a slotted spoon carefully remove the rabbit from the pot and place on a serving platter. Next tumble in the olives along with half the parsley leaves and turn the heat up to high and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thicken. At this point check the seasoning of the sauce and adjust it if necessary. Spoon the sauce over the rabbit and garnish with the remaining parsley.
Remember the secret to the perfect dish is to cook with love (and a little va va voom) xx