Pot roasted rabbit with baby leeks

Main course: serves 4. Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
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Indy Lifestyle Online
I have never understood why we don't eat more rabbit in this country, the Thumper-factor aside.

Rabbit:

100g unsalted butter, clarified (see note below)
sea salt, black pepper
1 rabbit, jointed, with liver and kidneys
50g unsmoked diced lardons
450g trimmed baby leeks
1 bayleaf
2 sprigs of thyme
225ml dry cider
3 tbsp crème fraîche

Potatoes:

900g potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized pieces
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp finely chopped curly parsley

Reserve a tablespoon of the clarified butter in a small frying-pan and heat the remainder over a medium-high heat in a flame-proof casserole. Season the rabbit joints and colour them on both sides. Remove from the pan, turn heat down, add the lardons and cook until they begin to colour. Depending on thickness, slice or cut leeks into 5cm lengths. Add with the herbs to the pan and cook until lightly coloured. Return rabbit to pan, pour over the cider, simmer then cover pot and cook over a low heat for one hour, turning rabbit halfway through. At the same time, cook potatoes in a pan of salted water.

Remove the rabbit to a warm dish or bowl, stir the crème fraîche into the pan juices and simmer vigorously for a few minutes until they thicken. Drain potatoes, add butter and toss in parsley. Heat the reserved clarified butter, slice the rabbit liver and kidneys and sautée briefly on each side until just firm, and season. Return the rabbit to the sauce, scattering over the offal as you serve it. Accompany with the potatoes.

Note: To clarify butter, melt it and skim off the surface foam, then decant the clear yellow liquid, discarding the milky residue below.

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