Rabbit With Bacon and Turnips Recipe

Nigel Slater
  • 110 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings

This Rabbit with Bacon and Turnips Recipe comes from Nigel Slater, the renowned British food writer, from his book Tender.

As Nigel explains, while most meats give us the choice of cooking on the bone or not, wild rabbit is one that really needs its bones if it is not to be dry. It is not the meatiest of choices, so you need to be generous with quantities here. Rabbit bones are small, and it's important to watch out for the more fiddly ones. The turnips in this provide all the carbs you need to soak up the sauce. It just needs some sprouting purple broccoli on the side.

I struggle to find a better recipe which epitomises and winter dish, but I expect no less from Nigel, he is one of the best around when it comes to food. 

What You'll Need

  • 600 g. rabbit (wild, legs and saddle pieces)
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour (or amount needed to dust rabbit)
  • 40 g. butter
  • 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • 200 g. Pancetta (in pieces)
  • 6 small shallots
  • 4 small to medium turnips
  • 100 ml. dry Marsala
  • 900 ml. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley (Roughly chopped)
  • 4 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  • Season the rabbit and dust it lightly with a little flour. Melt the butter in a little oil in a shallow pan over a moderate heat. Lightly brown the rabbit on all sides, then remove from the pan.
  • Whilst the rabbit is browning, cut the Pancetta into thick strips or cubes, then peel and chop the shallots. Once the rabbit is out, introduce the bacon and shallots to the pan and cook over a fairly low heat until the shallots are soft but not colored.
  • Cut the turnips into wedges and add them to the pan together with 2 tbsp flour. Continue cooking briefly, then pour in the Marsala and stock. Bring to the boil stirring gently.
  • Return the rabbit legs to the pan, but retain the saddle for the moment. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for an hour and ten minutes, adding the saddle halfway through, until the meat is tender enough to slip from the bones with relative ease.
  • Roughly chop the parsley and stir into the pan with the cream. Check the seasoning and serve.