Rabbit with saffron, basil, cucumber and tomatoes

Serves 6

6 farmed free-range rabbit legs (and shoulders, if you like)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tbsp olive oil
40 saffron threads
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
750ml/11/4 pints verjuice
20 little ripe tomatoes, such as San Marzano, datterini or cherry tomatoes
4 little cucumbers
A bunch of basil, leaves only
Large knob of unsalted butter

Season the rabbit then place a large, wide pan over a medium heat and add the oil. When hot, brown the portions in batches until golden; don't overcrowd the pan.

Add the saffron and garlic, then the verjuice, scraping up all the juices from the bottom of the pan. Allow to bubble to reduce down, then turn the heat to low. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce each tomato and add to the pan. Season with a little more salt and pepper, then cover and cook gently for 30 minutes until the rabbit is cooked. Continue to cook slowly for 15 minutes until the rabbit is very tender.

Halve the cucumbers lengthways and scoop out the seeds, then halve each piece. Add to the rabbit and cook for a couple of minutes. Tear the basil into strips and add with the butter. Swirl to combine and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to, then serve.

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