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Loin of rabbit, asparagus & wild mushroom, smoked butternut bubble & squeak & broad beans

A main course finalist in the Great British Menu series 4 ...


  • For the rabbit

  • 2 whole rabbits

  • Olive oil

  • For the rabbit legs

  • 50 ml / 2 fl oz olive oil

  • 1 leek chopped

  • 1 carrot chopped

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 4 rabbit legs

  • 100ml / 4 fl oz red wine

  • 50ml/ 2 fl oz port

  • 200ml/7 fl oz stock

  • For the bubble and squeak

  • 6 Maris Piper potatoes

  • ½ spring cabbage, finely sliced

  • 1 shallot, finely sliced

  • 30g / 1oz peas

  • 50g / 20z unsalted butter

  • Salt & pepper to season

  • For the butternut squash

  • 100g/4 oz unsalted butter

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled & chopped

  • 200ml/7 fl oz water

  • Hickory smoke essence

  • For the mushroom and asparagus mousse

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 100g/4 oz wild mushrooms

  • 1 medium bunch asparagus, cut into rounds

  • Olive oil

  • Flaked rabbit leg meat

  • 375ml/ 13 fl oz whipping cream

  • 2 tsp mushroom powder

  • 3 medium eggs

  • 4 egg yolks

  • For the thyme sauce

  • 200ml/ 7 fl oz red wine

  • 100ml/ 4 fl oz port

  • 1 bunch thyme

  • 300ml/ 10 fl oz lamb/rabbit stock

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 100ml/ 4 fl oz chicken stock

  • For the garnish

  • 50g / 2oz spinach

  • 50g / 2oz broadbeans

  • 2 medium bunches asparagus

  • 50g / 2oz butternut squash, diced

  • 50g / 2oz wild mushrooms

  • Olive oil to drizzle


  • For the rabbit:

  • 1.

    Remove the legs from the carcass and set aside. Remove the loins from the carcass and remove sinew. Seal the loins in a hot pan with a dash of olive oil for 2 minutes each side. Leave to rest.

  • For the legs:

  • 1.

    Roast the vegetables in a pan in the olive oil. Add the rabbit legs, deglaze the pan with the alcohol and add stock. Place the legs into a vacpack bag with a little of the stock & cook in a water bath at 62 C for 24 hours.

  • For the bubble and squeak:

  • 1.

    Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes or until cooked. Drain these & set aside. Sauté the cabbage, shallot & peas in butter. Crush the potatoes, keep chunky, and add to the sauté mix. Season to taste. Place this mixture into 4 x 6cm ring moulds, press down so it is tightly packed and sauté again in these ring moulds to form little potato cakes.

  • For the butternut squash:

  • 1.

    Melt the butter in a hot pan, add diced butternut squash and roast for 2 minutes. Cover with water and cook until soft. Blend in a processor until smooth and add hickory essence to taste.

  • For the mushroom and asparagus mousse:

  • 1.

    Sauté the shallot, garlic, wild mushrooms and asparagus in a little oil. Add the flaked leg meat and mix together on a low heat.

  • 2.

    Heat the cream, blending with the mushroom powder adding the eggs and egg yolks gradually. Pour the cream and egg mix onto the sautéed mix. Divide the mix into 4 buttered small 4cm ramekin moulds.

  • 3.

    Steam at 83˚C for 15-20 minutes in a steam oven or in a steaming pan of water.

  • For the sauce:

  • 1.

    Reduce the red wine, port and thyme in a pan by half. Add the meat stock and sugar and reduce by 2/3. Finish by adding the chicken stock and reduce to sauce consistency.

  • For the garnish:

  • 1.

    Blanch the spinach, broad beans, asparagus, and diced butternut squash in separate pans for a few minutes each or until cooked. Pan fry the wild mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Take a spoonful of butternut squash & smear across the plate. Place the spinach on top of the butternut squash, to the right of the plate, turn out the mushroom & asparagus mousse and place on top of the spinach. Place the rabbit leg on top of the mousse. Put the bubble & squeak opposite the mousse. Carve the rabbit loin and place over the top of the bubble & squeak. Spoon a line of sauce in front of this & scatter the asparagus, broad beans, wild mushrooms & diced butternut squash on top of the sauce.

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