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Summer Childhood Food Memories with Richie Wilson

Friday, 7 May 2010

Rabbit Casserole

Serves Four


. 1-2Lg Rabbit (Jointed)
. 150g Streaky Bacon
. 8-10each Pearl Onions
. 1lg Carrot
. 1 each Leek
. 2 sticks Celery
. 50g Plain Flour
. 1Btl Red Wine
. 200ml Chicken Stock
. 1bunchThyme
. 3 each Bay Leaves
. 200g Button Mushrooms
. Seasoning
. Freshly chopped Flat leaf Parsley


Begin by preparing your vegetables. Peal the pearl onions and leaving them whole, set aside. Peel and cut the carrot into large pieces an inch or so squared. Wash and cut the celery and leek into large chunks.

Now pre heat your oven to 160 degrees. Heat a large pan.

Turn the Rabbit pieces in a bowl along with the flour and plenty of salt and pepper. Add a little oil to the pan and place the Rabbit in. Continue turning the Rabbit until it is golden brown all over. Remove the Rabbit and place it in a large casserole dish. Return the pan to the heat and add a little red wine to wash out all the flavors from the pan ("Deglaze") after simmering for a minute or so pour over the Rabbit in the casserole dish.

After cleaning the pan return to the heat and a little oil. Now fry the bacon and add to the casserole. Return the pan to the heat once more but be sure to keep all the bacon fat in it. Now add the vegetables to the pan and continue to turn them over a high heat until they begin to color.

Now add the remaining wine to the pan and bring to the boil. Once it has boiled add all the vegetables and wine to the casserole. Now put the thyme and bay leaves into the casserole along with the chicken stock.

Cover the casserole with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for one hour before removing the lid and continuing to cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the chopped parsley.

Serve in the casserole dish along with some steamed or boiled buttered potatoes.

Apple Tart - Vanilla Cream

Sweet Pastry


. 225g Plain Flour
. 110g Unsalted Butter
. 80g Caster Sugar
. 1 large Egg
. 5-6 large Apples
. 50g Caster Sugar

Vanilla Cream


250ml Cream
1each Vanilla Pod
Icing Sugar to taste


1. Begin by making your pastry. Cut the butter into small cubes and work with it as quickly as possible from the fridge. Place the butter into a bowl and add the flour. Rub the flour and butter through your fingers until you have mixed it all through well, giving you a sandy texture. Now mix the egg and sugar, in a separate bowl with a whisk. Pour this into the flour and use a dull knife to mix together until it begins to form dough. Now use your hands and a little extra flour to knead the dough together. Cover the pastry well and place in the fridge for an hour.

2. Now choose a large round plate to cook the tart in the oven. Grease the plate with the butter paper and dust with a little flour. Dust the counter with a little flour for rolling out the pastry. Cut the dough in half and keep one half in the fridge until you are ready for it. Roll the pastry enough to cover the plate.

3. Now peel, core and slice the apples. Arrange them evenly over the pastry on the plate and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Now take the remaining pastry from the fridge and roll as you did before and place over the top of the apples. Use a fork to prick a few holes in the top of the tart and then to pinch the edges together. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of excess pastry. Brush the top of the tart with a little milk and egg mix, place in the fridge for about 20 minutes just to let the pastry rest, this will prevent it from shrinking in the oven.

4. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and place the tart in the centre for about 25 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown. The tart is best served hot but do let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes so the juices don't run out as soon as you cut it.

5. For the cream simply whip the cream with a little icing sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod.

6. Serve a large slice of warm tart with a healthy dollop of cream, uummmmh, memories!

Richie Wilson