Monday, 17 October 2011

Cookery Demonstration & inspiration

One of our fellow moorers in Castlefield Basin is Robert Owen-Brown, executive chef at the Mark Addy Restaurant which overlooks the River Irwell about ½ a mile from here and gets rave reviews for it's food.

Today he was giving a cookery demonstration at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival which has been on in Albert Square all week and we went along to watch.

The first dish he made was pickled tripe which held absolutely no appeal for me, but his second dish was loin of rabbit with wild mushrooms and a sherry and cream sauce which looked and smelled delicious.  After the demo he gave me his spare rabbit which I brought home to cook for tonight’s dinner.

After jointing the rabbit I coated it in seasoned flour and browned it in the frying pan in a bit of goose fat (worth buying as it makes fantastic roast potatoes).

I then drained the pieces and put them in the casserole while I softened some chopped carrot, celery and shallots in the remaining goose fat.

I added a bay leaf, 2 sprigs of tarragon, half a chicken stock cube (no doubt Rob would cringe, but good fresh stock is definitely a professional thing), a roughly chopped clove of garlic and a wine glass of chardonnay.

I let this bubble away for a couple of minutes while stirring to get all the sticky bits off the bottom of the pan and then poured it over the rabbit in the casserole dish. There wasn’t enough liquid to cover the meat so I topped it up with water before cooking for 1 ½ hours in the oven at gas 3. I would have preferred to cook it on top of the fire but it’s been warm today so we haven’t lit the fire yet.

After 1 ½ hours the meat was falling away from the bones so I took it out onto a plate, sieved the liquid to remove the veg and herbs which I threw away, and then poured the liquid back into the casserole and reduced it over a high heat until it was about half the volume and nice and tasty. I then added  a large pinch of finely chopped tarragon to freshen the flavour and replaced the rabbit to get coated in the sauce.
I was so eager to eat it I forgot to take the photograph until I’d already started eating, sorry……

It was delicious with cabbage and mustard mash YUM!!

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