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The last in our series of features on influential cook books features Simon Hopkinson's award winner. Cheryl Armitage reports.
SIMON HOPKINSON'S BRAISED RABBIT WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOTS, ROSEMARY AND CREAM
2 small rabbits, each jointed into 6 pieces
salt and pepper
110 g/4 oz butter
6 shallots, peeled and chopped
½ bottle of dry white wine
4 rosemary sprigs
450 ml/ ¾ pint whipping cream
juice of ½ lemon
Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed, shallow pan until foaming. Put in the rabbit pieces and turn the heat down. Gently fry for about 30 minutes or until pale golden brown, no more, turning from time to time. Lift out the rabbit pieces and put on a plate. Tip out any excess fat, leaving yourself with about 3 tbsp in the pan. Fry the shallots until pale gold and return the rabbit to the pan. Add about a quarter of the wine, and allow to simmer. Baste the rabbit pieces with the wine and shallots until it has become a syrupy sauce. Add a further splash of wine and carry on with this process until the wine has been used up and there is about a wine glass of liquid left in the pan. This should be tawny coloured and syrupy. Add the rosemary, turn down to the lowest possible heat, cover and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the lid, add the cream, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Let the cream amalgamate with the sauce, making sure that you scrape up any bits in the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the sauce is pale coffee colour and of an unctuous consistency. Add the lemon juice and correct the seasoning. Serve the buttered noodles or boiled potatoes.
This is not a dish to be hurried, rather it is one that should be nurtured as you are pottering about the kitchen doing other chores.
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