Preheat oven to 220C. Joint the rabbit in 8 pieces.
Heat a large frypan over a medium heat and brown the pork belly on all sides. Transfer to a large baking dish that fits the rabbit in one layer in the bottom.
Season rabbit with 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper, lightly brown rabbit pieces in the same frypan, the transfer to baking dish. Add duck fat, wine, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic. The liquid should almost cover the meat, add up to 1 cup water if needed.
Place baking dish in oven and roast 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 140C and cook 2 ½ hours, or until meat is very tender. Meat should easily pull away from the bone.
Remove from oven, leave to cool until you can handle heat with hands. Shred all meat from the rabbit bones, transferring meat to a large bowl as it is done.
Strain enough of the cooking liquid over the shredded meat to moisten, season with more salt to taste, and nutmeg. Mix well, then transfer rabbit mixture to small terrine jar or earthenware pot. Add a little more cooking liquid to ensure surface is completely covered.
Place on a tray in the refrigerator until the top is set. Cover with foil or a lid to fit, and refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to develop. Serve with hot fresh crusty bread.
The meat is cooked when the rabbit falls from the bones easily.
Paul uses duck fat rendered from his own ducks. But you can use fresh pork fat and render it down instead of using duck fat. Place the back fat in a heavy-based dish at the bottom of a low oven and slowly heat. Pour off fat into a heat-proof dish as it renders, every 15-20 minutes.
Free-range duck fat can be bought in most good delicatessens, or ordered in by most butchers. Otherwise the fat can be rendered from a whole free-range duck.
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