One of our annual treats is to visit the in-laws in Ringwood, Hampshire every Easter.
The kids have the easter egg hunt in the garden, we visit some location attraction and visit or walk along the beach. Great fun.
One constant desire of mine has always been to understand the many different types of seaweed to create a seaweed snack, but even with The River Cottage book – Edible Seashore close to hand, I am still not confident enough to try the seaweed and unless I look like I know what I am doing in the kitchen my mother-in-law is unlikely to want to accommodate me. I think I am already seen as a bit of an oddity within the family as it is, so cooking up bags of seaweed wont help me…!
Thankfully there is more than one food for free, and rabbits are in abundance. I am more familiar with these cheeky little furballs than seaweed so I was thrilled to get the chance to shoot a few with my Ringwood friend Pete; who hadn’t previously ever shot rabbit. An opportunity to shoot and eat rabbit with my friends in the beautiful backdrop of the New Forest was something not to be missed.
Hiding near the paddock (suitably away from the horses) we were spoilt for choice and within minutes I had bagged a ‘biggy’ and shortly after Pete added a couple more, (he loved it!) so much earlier than we expected we sparked up a fire and started the prep.
After skinning and gutting, I firstly quartered the rabbit and then removed the bone and chopped into bite size pieces. I used a mint type of marinade (I cheekily got it for free from the girl behind the meat counter, but can’t recall what it was exactly!) and covered the meat.
I prepared a potato, a carrot, some courgettes, and onion, and leek and put in the pan with some water ready to boil.
The rabbit went on and cooked nicely and then I added some chopped lamb liver (got to have a bit of liver) and the veg pot went onto the hot ashes.
The end result was very very tasty and Pete, Heidi (Petes’ Mrs) and I sat drinking pear cider and reflected on the day and enjoyed the clear skies.
Only problem… the rabbit was tough as my old Doc Martens, but with a strong jaw and some determination, I got through it. I later learnt it was because I cooked the rabbit too quickly… the slower the better.
Next time I’ll possibly boil up in stock for a few hours and then pull off the bone to mix into a delicious dish.
Live and learn eh? You got to try these things!