Category Archives: Luxury

Christmas. Let’s face it, it’s all about fruit and booze.

Hello hello hello.  I know, I know, it’s been bloody ages, but my cooking is pretty dull these days I’m afraid.  Something called work is apparently preventing me from being creative…

A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was about time to start making my staple Christmas prepare-ahead foods – the cake, the pud and the mincemeat.  I wrote this blog post at the time but for some reason forgot to post it after I’d taken the photos, but now I can add a picture of my tree, so perhaps it’s all for the good 🙂

I'm really pleased we've wrapped what we've got because it just makes the tree seem so much more Christmassy!  Note Father Christmouse guarding all the gifts :)

I’m really pleased we’ve wrapped what we’ve got because it just makes the tree seem so much more Christmassy! Note Father Christmouse guarding all the gifts 🙂

This year, I don’t actually need to make a cake because a) last year’s never got eaten and is still in the cupboard and b) we still have wedding cake left (which is also a fruit cake).  Just need to ice it in a couple of weeks’ time.  Easy!

I soaked the fruit for the mincemeat for a couple of days as per my previous recipe.  It’s more or less identical, except I added some freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (as I had some pomegranates in the fridge) and I used madiera instead or port, as I didn’t have any port in the house.  It smells gorgeous but doesn’t have that same wonderful ruby colour, so I’ll probably revert to port next year.

I also rolled and froze 90 pastry cases (!) so I’m well geared up for mince pies again.  The pastry is amazingly flaky and short, and the madiera has worked fabulously.  I’ve made a medly of different shaped lids this year using some new mini cutters I bought recently; they’re so cute!

Stars, Angels, Christmas Trees and Gingerbread Men.  Also available: Candy Canes, Holly Leaves and something else which entirely slips my mind...

Stars, Angels, Christmas Trees and Gingerbread Men. Also available: Candy Canes, Holly Leaves and something else which entirely slips my mind…

The puds also follow more or less the same recipe as before, except I didn’t have any dark rum, so the fruit was soaked for a week in a combination of Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum and home-steeped raspberry whisky.  I am now the proud owner of a silver sixpence, given to me by my dad and worn by me in my shoe on my wedding day for luck, so (after having been cleaned!) that was stirred into the mixture.  As A Man was out at a kickboxing thing today, I made sure I chucked all the ingredients into the bowl before he left so he didn’t miss out on Stir-up Sunday and making a wish!  The main change this year is that I’ve finally treated myself to some ceramic pudding basins, spurred by succeeding last year in melting one of the plastic basins in a friend’s saucepan at our annual get-together (whoops!).  They’re pretty too, with their polka-dotted exteriors.  I got one 2-pint basin and two 1-pints.  I also bought a lovely tall 10 litre pan yesterday, so I was able to steam the puds properly!  Now it’s just the case of finding a proper steaming trivet, as I managed to split a saucer in two this time, using it to stand the basin on…

Yay!  Pudding basins that won't melt!

Yay! Pudding basins that won’t melt!

I also decided I should do something with a load of cooking apples given to us by A Man’s mum.  The mandolin was out after having made chips last night, and I had just treated myself to an apple corer, so I decided to try my hand at apple crisps.  They are one of my absolute favourite snacks, but they’re bloody expensive to buy!  To be honest, I wasn’t sure about using cooking apples as I thought they might be too bitter, but they worked fantastically!  It was simply a case of washing and coring the apples, thinly slicing them into water mixed with lemon juice, laying the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cooking at around 100C for a couple of hours, until they had dried out.  Then they get stored in an airtight container to be nommed at your leisure!  Before baking I sprinkled some with cinnamon, some with mixed spice, some with five spice and left some plain.  Some people like to add a little sugar too, but I like a nice tart apple slice, so I didn’t bother.  Honestly, they’re better than the ones you can buy!  I’m almost tempted to buy myself a dehydrator from Amazon…  So good for you, and a nice way to preserve surplus fruit, without having to go down the jelly or chutney route (which I had already done a couple of months ago, and have jars and jars of stuff leftover).

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They’ve actually all disappeared now, but they were yummy while they lasted!

I’ve now marzipanned and iced the cake, but haven’t bothered to take a photo yet as I need to decorate it yet.  Hopefully it’ll be ready before next weekend, which is the annual get-together which this year is being hosted in Birmingham, the day after my office Christmas party…  See a hint of the carnage of 2011 (when A Man and I hosted) here.

Hope you’re all sufficiently into the spirit of the season!  Much love.

Gemma xx

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Restaurant Review – Den Dijver, Bruges

Hello hello.  Long time no post.  You know how it is: work, sleep, wedding plan…

Except that the wedding has now happened!  Yes, A Man and I got married on 20 July 2013 and I am therefore now A Wife!  The day was fabulous, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

We went on honeymoon for 3 nights to Bruges, in Belgium.  We openly confess that the idea to go to Bruges essentially stemmed from this film.

Usually, when A Man and I go on holiday, it’s very much a budget affair.  We go camping, we cook for ourselves, we take advantage of free entertainment etc etc.  The plan for the honeymoon was simple: go for a short time, so that we could really have a blow out and spend a ridiculous amount of money in a couple of days.  Drink beer, eat chocolate, go out for meals.

The parents of Best Man P gave us a Lonely Planet guide to Bruges as a wedding present, which was absolutely brilliant.  One of the restaurants it recommended was Den Dijver, where they pair each course with a complementary beer.  The menu is more expensive than we’d ever normally spend on a meal out but that didn’t matter.  We decided that it sounded like a great experience, so we got all dressed up and went over on Wednesday night.

It was closed.  We were grumpy.  We went to a different restaurant.

We tried again on Thursday night.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have our posh clothes to wear but never mind.  We went along to the restaurant and were shown through to the garden.  We were offered an aperitif of either a 7% local beer, or the house special of cherry beer with cava, similar to kir royale, which we both chose and which was really delicious.

Tables under the wines, and A Man with our aperitifs.

Tables under the vines, and A Man with our aperitifs.

A little while later we were surprised with an amuse bouche of marinated salmon with soft goat’s cheese, which was really yummy.

A salmon amuse bouche in a little globe.

A salmon amuse bouche in a little globe.

We chose to have the three course meal, with the accompanying beer suggestions.  As the guide book says, you can instead choose to have wines but that would rather be missing the point.  My first course was Carpaccio “Rossini” with goose liver.  It was perfectly seasoned, and the liver was amazingly buttery.  A Man had Artichoke with a mustard dressing which he thoroughly enjoyed.  There was also some amazing bread which was still hot when it arrived at the table, and which had an incredible crunchy crust.  The bread was dark with a really deep flavour.  My beer was a delicious Grimbergen Blonde, whilst A Man had Paljas Blond.

A Man and I couldn't quite remember how much of the artichoke you're meant to eat, but it was delicious (and he made sure he mopped up every last drop of the sauce with some bread!).  The carpaccio came with a lovely salad, which included flowers.  You can see the bread behind the beers, and there's also a photo of the condiments - the butter sits in a hollowed out piece of slate.

A Man and I couldn’t quite remember how much of the artichoke you’re meant to eat, but it was delicious (and he made sure he mopped up every last drop of the sauce with some bread!). The carpaccio came with a lovely salad, which included flowers. You can see the bread behind the beers, and there’s also a photo of the condiments – the butter sits in a hollowed out piece of slate.

After our starters came the main courses.  A Man had chosen Duck Breast with Peaches, Almonds and Belgian Chicory.  The duck was delicious and the accompaniments worked beautifully with it.  It was paired with Trappist Achel.  I chose Dory in Salt Crust with Southern Vegetables, Pesto and Tapenade.  The fish flaked gorgeously, and the pesto was perfect with it.  My main course was paired with Tripel Karmeliat.  A Man had in fact tried both beers the previous day and both were declared to be excellent, so we were really pleased to know that we would enjoy them.

A Man indicates how manically excited he is about his duck.

A Man indicates how manically excited he is about his duck.

Unfortunately, at this point the camera died 😦  Stupidly we hadn’t considered the fact that we had been taking pictures and videos for 3 days, and that sometimes batteries need to be recharged, so we only managed to get one more poor quality photograph of our meal before it gave up the ghost.

For dessert, A Man had originally chosen strawberries with mascarpone, mint and pistachio but they had run out of strawberries, so he changed his order to Cherries with Cherry Beer Sorbet.  I opted for Sabayon with Geuze.  A Man’s cherries arrived with a bottle of Lindeman’s Kriek, the cherry beer with which the sorbet was made.  The cherry beer is sweet and not something you would want to drink regularly, but perfect to round off the meal.  Mine came with a bottle of Oude Gueuze Tilquin.  The waitress explained to me that no sugar is added to the beer, which makes it very sharp but refreshing.  She was certainly right!  It reminded me of true dry scrumpy cider, and it was lovely with the sabayon.  A Man’s cherries were warm and juicy, and the melting sorbet was delicious.  The sabayon was light, and perfectly balanced between the sweet foamy top and the sharp gueuze used beneath (and of course, drunk alongside!)

My sabayon and gueze before the camera died, and a couple of photos of the drinks shamelessly stolen from the internet.

My sabayon and gueuze before the camera died, and a couple of photos of the drinks shamelessly stolen from the internet.

We were then offered coffee.  A Man decided against it, but I said that I would like one.  Like the aperitif, this was accompanied by a surprise bonus second dessert!  This was a chocolate mousse with sharp raspberry coulis, together with a couple of little biscuits and was just perfect to round off the meal.  The coffee wasn’t bad either.

We would thoroughly recommend Den Dijver to anyone going to Bruges, as the service was great, the setting was beautiful and the food was incredible.  It was great to have the experience of having our beers matched to our courses, and whilst it was more expensive than we would normally pay for a meal out, at €140 for both of our meals and drinks, it wasn’t extortionate and we definitely plan to go back next time we’re in Bruges (oh yes, there will be a next time!).  Only next time we’ll make sure we check when the place is open, and ensure that we save our posh clothes for then.

The world’s most incredible steak

Good morning

So, last night A Man and I almost went out for dinner, but then decided to stay in instead and just use the money we would have spent at a restaurant to cook something incredible.  Rib eye steak was on offer at the supermarket, but still more expensive by weight than a rib of beef joint.  We went mad.  We bought a single rib joint and A Man took his cleaver to it when we got home.  2 enormous steaks and a couple more in the freezer.  Excellent!

I forgot to take any photos of A Man butchering the joint, but I’m sure you can guess what it looked like.

As far as I’m concerned, the key to cooking great steak is to ensure that it’s properly seasoned, and to make sure it’s nice and dry before you cook it.  If the meat has a ton of moisture on the surface, the steak will essentially steam, which is just what you don’t want.  The method below worked fantastically, and I’d recommend it.

Much love

Gemma xx

Great steak with baked chips, mushroom sauce and peas

2 steaks
Olive oil
3 large cloves garlic
Dried thyme
About 100g butter
1 white onion
1 large punnet mushrooms
A couple of tablespoons of rum or brandy
100g crème fraîche (I used Yeo Valley Organic half fat)
A small amount of stock, preferably home made
Potatoes
Frozen peas

  1. Crush and chop the garlic finely.  In a large bowl, mix around half of the garlic with a good glug of olive oil, about 1 tablespoon of thyme and some salt and pepper.  Dry the steak if necessary with a clean tea towel or kitchen roll, and marinate in the oil mix.  Turn the steak over and rub it around to ensure that the whole steak has had the oil treatment.

    The steaks sit and wait, poised to jump into the frying pan, and into my eagerly awaiting mouth.

    The steaks sit and wait, poised to jump into the frying pan, and into my eagerly awaiting mouth.

  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan with the butter, until the butter starts to bubble.  Finely slice the onion and add this with the remaining garlic to the pan.  Stir regularly and cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Slice the mushrooms and add these to the onions.  Continually turn them over, so that they are evenly cooked.  Cook the mushrooms until they are soft and have started to reduce.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare your potatoes.  You can peel them if you like, but I prefer not to.  Cut them into chips of fairly even size, and then rinse the chips in cold water.  This will remove some of the starch from the surface and help to make a crispy chip.  Mix in a bowl with a touch more olive oil, and some salt, pepper and any herbs or spices you wish to add to your chips.  My favourite is smoked paprika.
  5. Turn the oven on very high, and place a baking tray in to heat up.
  6. Add the rum or brandy to the mushrooms and stir vigorously.  It should sizzle a lot.  Stir through the crème fraîche and stock and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes.  Season the sauce to taste, and add a little water if it is too thick.  Remove from the heat – you can warm it through again just before serving.
  7. Cook the chips on the preheated tray.  Depending on their size, and how crowded they are on the tray, they should take around 30 – 45 minutes.  Warm the plates if possible.
  8. A few minutes before serving, heat a dry griddle on the hob until it starts to smoke.  Put the peas on to boil (they really only need the water to boil, then they can be switched off).  Add the steaks to the griddle and watch them carefully.  Cook to your liking.  We usually have ours rare, but these came out slightly more on the medium side because I cooked them a little too long, but they were so tender it just didn’t matter.  Warm the mushrooms through at this point.

    Everything on the go.  I have to say, it was somewhat extravagant having steaks that only just fit in the griddle...

    Everything on the go. I have to say, it was somewhat extravagant having steaks that only just fit in the griddle…

  9. Once the steak is cooked, immediately plate up everything  Pour any juices from the steak pan back over the meat.  Revel in just how incredible your dinner is going to be.
Incredible steaks, delicious mushrooms, perfect crispy chips and, well, peas.  What an amazing Saturday night dinner!  Over the top, yes, but still better value for money than going to a restaurant or getting a takeaway.

Incredible steaks, delicious mushrooms, perfect crispy chips and, well, peas. What an amazing Saturday night dinner! Over the top, yes, but still better value for money than going to a restaurant or getting a takeaway.

Birthdays are for wine and cake and chocolate

So why not combine all three?

Hello there.  It’s been a while, I know.  Life has been…hectic since starting work.  I make no apologies – I simply don’t have the hours at home that I used to.

 

It was A Man’s birthday yesterday.  After work on Monday, I went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients to make him a birthday cake.  “No need to buy brown sugar,” thought I, “We’ve got some in the cupboard.”  Little did I know that, because of the following rule, the brown sugar was gone.

YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY CAKE INTO THE OFFICE

It would appear that, when he arrived home, A Man made his own birthday cake (a carrot cake) to take to work with him the following morning.  Cue another trip to the supermarket.  Grrr.

Anywho, this is an incredible cake recipe I have made once before.  I was searching the internet for red velvet recipes when I came across this one.  I made it as a kind of gimmick, as the person I was making it for is known for loving red wine.  As it happens, the cake was INCREDIBLE and was dubbed by my dad as the best cake he had ever eaten.  Needless to say, I just had to make it again.

I cocked up the frosting somewhat last time, and I have to confess that due to that and the aforementioned job thing, I bought a tub of ready-made cream cheese frosting.  I felt guilty for about 3 seconds and then decided there are more things in life to get het up about than whether or not I made the frosting on the cake.  It’s just one of those skills I can’t seem to get the hang of.

One tip for you: by all means sprinkle the cake liberally with finely grated chocolate.  Just remember that you’ll get chocolate dust everywhere when it comes to candle-blowing-out time…

I won’t repeat the recipe here, but here are some photos of my efforts.

Much love

Gemma xx

A Man attempts to entinguish the candles without blowing chocolate all over the dining table.

A Man attempts to entinguish the candles without blowing chocolate all over the dining table.

Masterfully slicing the cake and transferring it to a plate.

Masterfully slicing the cake and transferring it to a plate.

Got to be honest, I am obscenely pleased with this cake!

Got to be honest, I am obscenely pleased with this cake!

Look! It’s been snowing.

Hello there.

As you will undoubtedly be aware, it’s been snowing.  You get many many bonus points if you can tell me where the innocuous phrase in the title came from.

I had to work from home yesterday, as my trains were cancelled, and A Man also worked from the Warminster office as riding 50 miles on a motorbike with snow on its tyres would not have been an especially sensible idea.  This meant we were able to meet up for a lunchtime walk, and take some pretty photos of the park.

Let it Snow

I love this man’s olde-worlde sledge!

WARNING – THIS POST IS ABOUT TO GET CHRISTMASSY 3 AND A HALF WEEKS TOO LATE

Thanks to Charles Dickens, snow in the UK is commonly associated with Christmas, despite it actually hardly ever happening.  The fact of it being snowy outside led me to make a somewhat rash decision.  Bring out the Christmas pudding!

By all rights it should have been flamed, but I was a little too tipsy to be trusted with a ladle full of rum and a match.

By all rights it should have been flamed, but I was a little too tipsy to be trusted with a ladle full of rum and a match.

I made 2 Christmas puds this year in November, both 2 pints and one with a silver sixpence in.  The first we took to our friends’ house for our annual Christmas dinner and as I had no idea which pud had the sixpence, there was no question of microwaving to warm it up (not to mention, it always tastes better when steamed).  Unfortunately, a combination of drunkenness, a too-small pan, boiling dry and stupidity, the plastic pudding basin melted.  The pud was luckily salvageable and very tasty but didn’t even have the sixpence so I knew it was in the one at home.

The sixpence is hiding right in the middle of the wedge, so at least we know where it is now!

The sixpence is hiding right in the middle of the wedge, so at least we know where it is now!

As we were visiting family over Christmas we never got the opportunity to have the second pudding.  I decided that, to be safe, I would reheat the pud in the same way I cooked them: wrapped in a muslin, and steamed in the slow cooker sitting on a saucepan.  It worked really well and the pudding was surprisingly light.

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The recipe was more or less the same as last year’s, but I used the following fruit instead:

4 oz Dried figs
3 oz Prunes
5 oz Apricots
6 oz Currants
1 lb Sultanas

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After last year’s embarrassingly alcoholic pudding, I recorded how much rum I fed the puddings: 1 capful once a week for 5 weeks.  A little more wouldn’t have hurt, but the amount used was pretty good.

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Christmas pudding served with its perfect accompaniment of lots of clotted cream.

I’ve also still got the Christmas cake in the cupboard, without marzipan or icing, again because we didn’t really have an opportunity to eat it.  I’ll save it for another post, but I’m seriously considering keeping it in the cupboard until next year, and having a 13-month matured cake – that’s got to be good, right?!

If you’ve read this far congratulations.  Have a mince pie (yup, I’ve been cooking those too!).

Much love

Gemma x

Happy Blogday to Me! Celebratory duck dishes and musings on stock-making to follow.

Hello hello hello

It’s officially been a year since my first ever blog post on recipeforprocrastination!  And in the spirit of celebration, I’ve returned to my roots and have been squeezing every single possible ounce of deliciousness out of a couple of ducks.*

As I am currently awaiting the start of my new job, I am due to have some visitors next week, including my mum and family friend Elaine.  This means I’ve got to try and cook something spectactular for their visit.  Whole ducks were on offer at the supermarket, and it seemed like a great excuse to buy a couple whilst I still had access to a staff discount card!

Why two ducks?  Because there will be four of us and I plan to serve a breast each.  As a packet of two duck breasts cost £7 and the whole bird was £8 (with 10% discount taking it to £7.20) it was an absolute no brainer to buy whole ducks instead.

Once I got home, I butchered the ducks (see this post for how I did it).  The livers were separated from the giblets and put in the freezer (along with some other duck liver and rabbit liver which are currently sitting in there) and the breasts were also frozen.  Unfortunately, that more or less exhausted all of my freezer space, and I still had the legs and the carcass to deal with.

One of the photos from my original duck butchery post.

The carcass was easy – I roasted the bones, along with the giblets and excess skin, until they had browned and the fat had started to run (roasting both improves the flavour of the stock and makes the duck fat useable).  The fat was poured into a tub for later use, and everything else was put in the slow cooker with a couple of carrots, a bit of leftover fennel (from my rabbit meal the other day) and topped up with water.  I cooked on low for several hours, in order to make a delicious smelling stock (see this post for my basic method).  Now, with the frequency that I make stock I had assumed that I knew everything there was to know about it.  However, recently I have started doing a few new things.

  1. Using the slow cooker rather than the hob makes a lot of sense because for one thing, the likelihood of it boiling dry is more or less nil and for another, I can leave it on overnight or while I’m out of the house.
  2. I’ve discovered that you can re-use the same bones when you make stock, up until the point that they basically crumble.  Chicken carcasses will only last for a couple of batches, but duck carcasses appear to be a little more resilient.
  3. Adding a couple of spoons of vinegar to stock will improve its mineral content.  Did you ever do that thing in science where you soaked a chicken bone in vinegar until it turned rubbery?  That’s because the acidity of the vinegar encourages the calcium to leach out.  Calcium’s good for you, and you can’t taste the vinegar in the end product, so this small addition is a great idea.
  4. Reducing the stock down concentrates the flavour and takes up less storage space.  This is an obvious one, but I’d never really thought about it until looking through the Ballymaloe Cookery Course book (yes, I know I mention that one a lot, but it really is a manual as well as just a recipe book).  Since I’ve started reducing my stocks, they’ve got better and better.

Another ancient photo to illustrate stock-making.

I do declare that the duck stock I currently have on the go is the best I’ve ever made.  It smells incredible, and just tastes of liquid duck.  It’s so gelatinous that it’s basically set hard in the fridge and I’m really looking forward to using it.

I still had to deal with the pesky legs though, as I couldn’t use them immediately, but didn’t have any room in the freezer for them.  Enter confit duck.  I’ve not made it for a while, and this time I actually had nearly enough fat to completely cover the meat.  I used primarily duck fat, but also some bacon fat from my carbonara and a roast gammon we cooked recently (both of which came from A Man’s dad’s pigs).  The confit duck legs are currently sitting in a casserole dish in my fridge, submerged in fat and covered with a lid.  See this post for my confit duck method.

A previous experiment with confit duck. I may well try out the green lentils again – they were perfect!

So there we have it.  I can cook stuff for a whole year, and still I’ll return to the same old things again and again.  Nothing much changes.  I’ll probably start hanging back on the food blog front now (I’m sure you’ve noticed me starting to slack off over the past couple of months already).  I start my new job on 29th October and will have less time to cook, and a lot of my free time is being taken up by wedding planning now.  I’ll pop back now and then though, if only when I manage particularly unusual or beautiful food.  It’s been fun though!

Massive huge love

Gemma xx

*As a side note, the duck thing was honestly completely unintentional – it just happened that way!  It did amuse me when I realised my first post was about duck, I checked and it happened to be a year ago.  Perhaps it’s providence (or more likely, I guess this time of year must be prime for special offers on ducks).

Bunny Ballotine

Good evening good evening good evening.

Tonight’s dinner could be described as a little extravagant for a weeknight meal, but sod it – I’m celebrating.  Today marked my last ever shift at Morrisons and consequently the last time I will ever be required to preside over the self-scan checkouts, which easily has to be the most hateful job in the universe.  Thus I decided that I had a very good reason to cook something unusual, slightly labour-intensive and a little bit cheffy.  I was really pleased with how this turned out, and although it tipped the scales slightly in favour of being restaurant food (as far as my cooking ever does) it was really good value to make.

If you can get your butcher to bone your rabbit for you, I highly recommend it as I made something of a hash of it.  Also, this would work equally well with chicken.  You can read about my reasons for eating rabbit here.

I realise this isn’t technically a ballotine, as I didn’t stuff it with anything.  However, I decided that it was a better name than “Bunny in Bacon” which was the alternative.

Much love

Gemma xx

Bunny Ballotine

Boned rabbit pieces
Buttermilk
Salt and Pepper
4 rashers rindless streaky bacon per person
Fennel
Parsnips
Savoy Cabbage

  1. Marinade the rabbit in buttermilk seasoned with salt and pepper.  Do this overnight if possible, or for a couple of hours if not.
  2. Grease some squares of tin foil (one per ballotine).  I used some of the fat I rendered from using A Man’s dad’s bacon to cook carbonara the other day.  Lay the bacon rashers, slightly overlapping one another, on the greased foil.  Stretch the bacon slightly with your fingers to thin it out, but be careful not to break it.
  3. Lay the rabbit pieces on top of the bacon.  If you are anything like me, and end up with lots of little pieces of rabbit rather than simply boned joints, that’s OK because the bacon will keep everything together.  Wrap the bacon around the rabbit, and wrap the foil tightly around the bacon, securing the ends.

    Action shot

  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook the parcels for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, quarter the fennel and parsnips (Peeling if necessary) and shred the cabbage.
  5. Add the fennel and parsnips to the water for 10 minutes.  Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat as high as it will go.
  6. Remove the veg from the water, place on the hot tray and put it back in the oven to bake.  Unwrap the rabbit and keep warm on a plate.  Turn the oven down to a medium-hot temperature.
  7. After the veg has been cooking for around 10 minutes, add the rabbit to the baking tray.  Cook the cabbage and serve everything once the bacon is crispy and the fennel and parsnips have started to brown.
  8. Serve with a light gravy (preferably home made, but we had Bisto 🙂 )