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Recipe - rabbit stock and a tasty soup

PUBLISHED: 17:02 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 14 November 2018

A warming pumpkin soup can be made with the bunny broth

A warming pumpkin soup can be made with the bunny broth

Archant

Tim Maddams teaches us how to use the trim and bones of a butchered rabbit to make a delicious stock and an incredibly tasty soup! Waste not, want not!

Place the bones in a large stock pot cover with water an simmer gently for an hourPlace the bones in a large stock pot cover with water an simmer gently for an hour

So far in the series, I have looked at skinning and butchering your rabbit, and cooking the livers and the loins. For phase three of project rabbit, I am going to walk you through the process of making a light broth or stock.

This flavoursome stock is useful for many dishes – you can even use it as the base for a shooting day alternative to bull shot – something I do with all sorts of game stocks and this one I call ‘buck shot’ – which amuses me because I am a sad dad-joke-loving bloke at heart.

But this month you will be getting two recipes for the price of one as not only will you get the recipe for the stock but I will take it a step further and throw in the recipe for a lovely roasted squash soup using the stock – a perfect bonfire night treat, or flask of something warm to keep off the chill if you are working outdoors this season.

Now, I tend to either wait until I have a big haul of bunnies and make a great big vat of stock all at once, but you can easily make a good enough stock with the bones and trimmings from even the smallest rabbit. Alternatively, you could save up the bones and trimmings until you have enough to make a larger quantity – the stock or indeed soup itself can then be frozen in batches if needs be to help tease out the enjoyment.

rabbit stock

Preparation and cooking time: 2 hours

Note that you can skip the step where the bones and trimmings are roasted if you want a lighter, paler, less intense stock. However, I recommend a good roasting as you get a more vigorous flavour as a result and this in turn makes the stock more versatile and, for me, more delicious.

The finished stock is delicious and very versatileThe finished stock is delicious and very versatile

Ingredients

* The bones and trimmings from six rabbits (you can make less as already noted, just use what you have)

* 3 onions, washed and cut in half, not peeled

* 1 bulb of garlic, washed and cut in half, not peeled

* 2 large carrots, washed and cut in half, not peeled

* 1 stick of celery, washed and broken into three

* 6 peppercorns

* 3 fresh bay leaves

* 1 teaspoon of salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a large roasting trayMix all the ingredients together in a large roasting tray

* ½ a tin of quality tinned tomatoes

* A sprig of thyme

* ½ a pint of good dry cider

Roasting the bones give a richer flavour and deeper colour to the stockRoasting the bones give a richer flavour and deeper colour to the stock

Method:

1. Place all these ingredients bar the cider in a deep baking tray and roast in a hot oven at 200°C or more. Turn or stir occasionally until colour and flavour abound; we don’t want lots of black bits but a good dark brown colour is great. This will take around half an hour depending on your oven.

2. Once ready, remove from the oven and tip the contents of the tray into a pot just large enough to hold them all comfortably. Top the pot up with cold water, leaving a little room for the cider coming along in a minute or two, and bring it very slowly to a boil on the stove.

As soon as it boils, turn it right down to the lowest of simmers and pop a lid on the pan. Do not discard the baking tray just yet – this is where the cider comes in.

3. Place the tray either on the heat or back in the hot oven for a minute or two, then pour in the cider. Scrape in all the coloured scraps of flavour left behind in the tray, which will have been loosened by the addition of the cider. Add this to the gently simmering stock.

4. Cook the stock for around an hour, skimming off any foamy scum from the top occasionally using a spoon or ladle. Turn off the heat, but leave the stock on the bones until it cools a little – this all helps to secure a good flavour exchange from the solids into the liquids.

5. Pass the stock through a sieve. The stock can be reduced a little to intensify it if needs be, but watch out it does not become too salty.

Deglase the roasting pan with cider to remove all the flavour from the panDeglase the roasting pan with cider to remove all the flavour from the pan

Roasted squash and bunny broth soup

Serves 2

Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

* 1 firm, fleshed winter squash – crown prince, butternut, acorn or similar (you may need to use more than one if they are very small)

* Salt and pepper

* A few chilli flakes if you like

* Good olive oil

* Fresh sage leaves

Method:

1. Cut the squash into wedges and brush these with a little oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and throw in a few sage leaves as well. Roast with the skin on at a high temperature until golden, with well softened flesh.

2. Boil your stock and add the now soft squash, blend, season and you are done. Enjoy!

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