The taste of rabbit is always welcome, come spring.
With the fallow deer season is at a close, rabbits become my new favourite quarry to stalk. Rabbit shooting in springtime is incredibly satisfying when those evenings become golden and warm.
To reward oneself with a small but bountiful harvest, there is nothing more appetising than sitting outside on a clement evening with a cold cut of rabbit terrine and a pint of golden ale.
- Preparation Time: 1 hour. Cool for 1 hour.
- Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes at 180°C /160°C Fan / Gas Mark 4.
- Resting time in the refrigerator overnight.
- 1 large buck or doe or 2 younger rabbits.
- 300 grams / 10.6 oz of wild boar or high welfare pork belly fat. Half ground in with the rabbit and half sliced thinly.
- 4 tablespoons of hot English mustard
- 2 organic eggs
- ½ large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 sprig of fresh tarragon, left whole
- 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
1. Debone a large rabbit or 2 small rabbits. Depending on shot placement it may be preferable to use only the saddle and rear haunches of 2 large rabbits. It is always a little easier to debone a rabbit once it has been refrigerated overnight.
2. Grind the rabbit meat with half of the pork belly fat. I tend to grind the meat when it is cold from refrigeration as it tends to feed more consistently through the grinder.
3. Place all the ingredients excluding the leftover sliced pork belly fat and whole tarragon stem into a mixing bowl. Now mix thoroughly with your hands.
4. Take 1 large or 2 small ceramic terrine dishes. If a terrine dish is not available, then any ceramic dish that is oven worthy can be used. Line the terrine dish with the pork fat, spoon in the mixture, compress with a spoon as best as possible and add the tarragon sprig on top. Place the terrine in a bain-marie of hot water. The water should come two-thirds of the way up the terrine dish.
5. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 1 hour.
6. Once cooked, remove from the oven. Take the terrine out of the bain-marie and leave to cool to just above warm room temperature. Place clingfilm over the dish and put kitchen scale weights or something heavy on top of the terrine to compress the meat. Do not use to heavier weight so the fat spills over the side.
7. Leave to cool to room temperature then place the terrine in the refrigerator and leave for 12 hours before serving.
Serve cold, with freshly buttered sourdough and a woodland preserve, such as rowan jelly or lingonberry jam.
***I purchased the pork belly fat from my good friends at Townings Farm who raise rare breed livestock and graze conservation designated land.
This recipe was created by Matt Moss and is featured on his blog. Check out the recipe and Matt's blog - Mosswoodland Hunting Blog by clicking here.