Rabbit stew with barley

Spring is having identity issues this year. It’s still cold outside (enough to wear a jacket, in mid May!), so I wanted something braised and nice and warm. I’d also been wanting to experiment with rabbit meat for a while, so this was the result.

Ingredients
1 rabbit, cut in serving pieces
2 table spoon flour
salt and pepper
1 tea spoon paprika
olive oil
150g spicy pancetta
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fennel buld, cored and sliced
2 cups white wine
1 table spoon tomato paste
2 table spoon barley
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

ingredients

***

1. In a plate, combine the flour, paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Do not under salt.
flour

2. Dust the rabbit pieces in the flour, shaking off excess.
dust

3. Warm some oil in the bottom of a dutch oven or french faitout.
Sear on both sides to get some color. Work in batches.
sear

4. While that’s going, dice up the pancetta.
pancetta

5. When all the rabbit has been colored, set it aside.
color

6. Lower the heat to a medium-low and throw the pancetta into the pot. It will smoke. A lot.
pancetta2

7. Cook, stirring often, until most of the fat has been rendered out.
pancetta3

8. Add the fennel and onions.
veggies

9. Cook until the onions are translucent and the fennel starts to soften. Add the tomato paste and garlic.
veggies2

10. Add the wine, scrapping up anything stuck at the bottom of the pot. Add the rosemary.
liquid

11. Nestle the rabbit back into the pot, making sure it’s as much under the liquid as possible.
nestle

12. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the barley.
barley

13. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes (to allow the sauce to reduce)
simmer

14. Serve with good crusty bread to soak up the sauce. Enjoy!
serve

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Fish Soup

A delicious and light soup. Any firm white fish would work, just make sure that you get something that stays firm as  it cooks..

Ingredients :
1 cup orange juice
2 cups fish stock
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1/2 fennel bulb
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 thaï chili
3-4 tomatoes
1 lb of monk fish
Zest of 1/2 orange
2 pinches of saffron
salt and pepper
olive oil
ingredients

***

1. First peel the tomatoes. Cut an “x” shape cut at the bottom of each tomato.
tomatoes1

2. Drop the cut tomato in boiling water for 30-40 seconds.
tomatoes2

3. Transfer the tomato into cold water. The peel should be tearing away from the flesh on it’s own.
tomatoes3

4. Remove the skin. Repeat for all tomatoes and set aside.
tomatoes4

5. Drop the fish stock in a pot and bring to a simmer then set aside.
stock

6. Deal with the fennel. Rinse any dirt from the outside.
fennel-1

7. Cut those antenna like growth. The fluffy green things are edible if you want to keep them.
fennel-2

8. Cut the bulb in half. Remove the outside leaves and the bitter core.
fennel-3

9. In a large soup pot, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, finely diced and sweat for a few minutes.
onions

10. Finely dice the fennel.
fennel-4

11. Add the fennel to the onions and sweat for a few minutes.
add-fennel

12. Add the diced bell peppers to the onions and fennel and allow to cook down for about 2 minutes.
add-peppers

13. Peel and dice the potato. Skin and mince the garlic. Add to the pot.
Allow the potatoes to warm up with the other vegetables for a few minutes then deglaze with the orange juice. Allow the juice to reduce by 1/3.
deglaze

14. During that time, dice the tomatoes (they should have cooled down enough to handle)
chop-tomatoes

15. Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir them in,
add-tomatoes

16. Add the orange zest and saffron. Cut the chili pepper open and drop that in as well.
add-aromatics

17.  Add the fish stock. Bring to a simmer,
add-stock

18.  Cover and cook until the potatoes are done (about 15-20 minutes). Fish out the bird’s eye chili. You can use the base as is or blend it down. I wanted something smooth so I blended it down.
simmered

19 .Retrieve the fish from the fridge. Remove any and all bones.
monkfish1

20. Cut the fish into bite sized cubes.
mnkfish2

21. Gently drop into the simmering soup. Poach the fish in the soup for about 10 minutes. When the fish is ready it will firm up. Serve warm. Eat with some crusty bread.
soup2