GT tableware

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Subscribe to Gourmet

By subscribing to Gourmet Traveller via auto-renewal you‘ll pay only $6 for your first three issues, and then just $5.95 each issue thereafter.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Noma Australia: the first review

Curious about the hype surrounding Noma Australia? Pat Nourse heads to lunch and delivers the first verdict...

Fast Chinese Recipes

If you’re looking for quick and spicy dishes to celebrate Chinese New Year, we have the likes of kung pao chicken, ma po beancurd, XO pipis with Chinese broccoli and plenty more fire and crunch here.

Fast and fresh summer recipes

Fish in a flash, speedy stir-fries, ripe and ready fruit – magic dishes in moments. Here's a preview of the recipes in our February 2016 issue.

Prego rolls

"This is a Mozambican specialty and one of the foods that changed my life in terms of African cuisine," says Duncan Welgemoed. "The best spot to get a prego roll in South Africa is the Radium Beerhall. It's run by my godfather, Manny, and is the oldest pub in Jo'burg. The meats are grilled out the back by Mozambican staff and are still done the same way today as they were 30 years ago." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the beef.

Lebanese-style snapper

"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

Stir-fry recipes

A centrepiece of stir-fried lobster with garlic stems or Neil Perry’s stir-fried beef with Sichuan peppercorns and sweet bean sauce? Whichever you choose, our online collection of 22 wok-tossed recipes is bound to cause a stir.

Green salad with vinaigrette

"Our seven-year-old, Arwen, has been making this vinaigrette since she was five - she tastes it as she goes," says Levy Redzepi. "It's fresh and acidic and as good as the leaves. Frillice lettuce is crunchy but it's thin so it's like a perfect mix of cos and iceberg."

Homemade white bread

"Not multigrain, not gluten-free, nor rye or whole wheat - classic white bread is the only acceptable canvas for your delicious passion project, the brisket," says Curtis Stone. "Texas barbecue sides are supposed to be minimalist, but minimalist done right. Baking soft, fluffy bread from scratch is doing it just right (and then some). Plus, stuffing brisket into a slice of bread means you can eat with your hands, the way it ought to be." Makes 2 loaves.

How to cook rabbit

Here's the thing: wild rabbit and farmed rabbit are two very different beasts. Wild rabbit meat is lean and gamy in flavour, rich, earthy and distinct. Wild rabbits run around a lot and the muscles get very developed, which is why the meat is so dark.

Farmed rabbits, in contrast, are fat and lazy from lying around the pen eating. Farmed rabbit is white, has lovely creamy fat hanging around its belly and loin, and has a more delicate flavour.

The difference is even more pronounced when the meat is cooked. Farmed rabbit is tender, and can be as soft as butter provided it is cooked a certain way. Wild rabbit has to be cooked for a long time in a wet sauce before it will yield, and it doesn't roast well.

My first experience with wild rabbit was with friends at their vineyard in Yandoit in central Victoria. Rosa Mitchell and her family are Sicilian, and there's always great food on the go at their place: something cooking away in the brick oven, someone making fresh ricotta, or picking wild herbs, or hunting.

As we were leaving in the late afternoon, Rosa's father, a wiry man in his seventies, asked me if I liked rabbit. "Yes! I love it," I replied. Five minutes later he walked past with a shotgun and disappeared over the hill. We heard a shot. He returned swinging a rabbit by its legs and handed it to me. I handed it straight back and asked him to skin it. He made a few slits around the neck and pulled the rabbit's skin and fur off in one smooth action. I was very impressed.

The only way I like to cook wild rabbit is to make a ragù, perhaps with porcini mushrooms, red wine and a touch of tomato, to toss through ribbons of pasta or ladle over wet polenta. It really isn't suited to any other style of cooking.

Farmed rabbit is far more versatile. You can roast it, braise it, grill it and even fry it. Jointing farmed rabbit into small pieces on the bone then marinating it with herbs and olive oil before grilling it yields some of the best results - rustic and delicious.

I really like rabbit fricassée. The rabbit is cut into small pieces on the bone, pan-fried with lots of herbs and garlic, a splash of white wine and some vegetables - fresh peas or sliced artichokes or both - then covered and simmered until it's just cooked.

Rabbit's reputation for being tough and dry isn't without cause. When the meat is just cooked through it should be succulent and tender. But when you cook it further - even just a little further, in some cases - the meat will tighten up, particularly if it's being roasted or grilled. However, if you continue to cook it in a sauce until it just starts to fall off the bone, then it will yield beautifully. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a fine line so you'll need to pay attention; if you continue cooking rabbit in sauce once it has reached the just-falling-off-the-bone stage, it will turn dry and stringy.

I don't roast rabbit whole because it dries out too much before it's cooked through. However, the loin can be boned and roasted to winning effect. The keys are to wrap it in pancetta or something similar to keep the moisture in, to roast the loin no further than medium-rare, and then to rest it well. This is the best option for farmed rabbit. If you'd prefer to braise it, the cooking should be very slow and gentle, and the pot should be taken off the flame just as the meat starts to come off the bone.

I recommend buying rabbit from a reputable supplier who deals in it regularly; farmers' markets are usually a good source. A rabbit is very much influenced by its diet and living conditions. Farmed rabbit will look pink, there should be no blemishes or bruises, the meat should be firm, and if the liver is still attached, it should be bright red.

Italy, France, Spain and Greece are rich sources of rabbit recipes. The south of Italy and parts of Greece do a lovely sweet-and-sour version of rabbit, cooking it with wine and a little vinegar and dried fruit.

Rabbit is also a favourite in parts of China's Sichuan province. I've seen recipes for hotpot of rabbit in black bean sauce, and spicy rabbit heads are a specialty of the city of Chengdu.

Back in central Victoria, I left the farm that afternoon with my still-warm rabbit and put it in the fridge. It stayed there for a week. I wanted to cook it but I couldn't bring myself to, so sadly it got thrown away. This was my first experience with wild game and I was squeamish. Today I wouldn't hesitate; its robust flavour and the fact that it had come so directly from the land would be things I'd relish.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Quick meals with quinoa
25.01.2016
Gourmet Traveller Chinese-language edition
22.01.2016
How to cook seafood over an open flame
20.01.2016
Know your beach greens
19.01.2016
Mr Goaty Gelato
11.01.2016
How to grow your own basil
07.01.2016
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Twenty
things to do in Sydney

From drinks and dos to eats and retreats, our go-guide to Sydney has you covered. Are you ready to live it up, or wind it down, in the harbour city?

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Blame the flame

Chef Lennox Hastie worked the coals at Spain’s famed Etxebar...

Prepared chestnuts

A fresh chestnut is a hard nut to crack, so we’re lucky, the...

How to carve a jack-o'-lantern

We ask three American chefs to share their pumpkin carving s...

How to grow garlic

Garlic has a long growing time, but low maintenance and fres...

How to grow broccoli

Broccoli is the most prolific member of the brassica family ...

How to pickle fruit and vegetables

I’m keen to get in on this pickling thing. Where’s a good pl...

How to plant broad beans

Plant broad beans now, when the weather is cool, and they’ll...

How to grow chillies

This is the time of year for vegetables that like it hot and...

How to cook wagyu

I’ve been noticing restaurant-grade wagyu in good butcher’s ...

Classic Sunday roast ideas

What’s the key to nailing a really good classic Sunday roast...

What is Buddha’s hand?

This freakishly shaped fruit, aka fingered citron, hails fro...

Home-dried herbs

I’ve got a surplus of herbs in the garden; how do I get the ...

Are any spring flowers worth eating?

With borage flowers and violets everywhere, it’s easy to for...

Quick meals with chilli bean paste

This handy Chinese condiment is a sure-fire speedy way of ad...

Best meat for big parties

What can you suggest that’s low maintenance and high impact ...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×