I know I'm running rather late with this here Easter post, and I apologise for my tardiness dear readers, but honestly... I have good reason for holding off: I ate so much over the long weekend that I think I might still be digesting it all now, almost three weeks on. To call my long weekend 'Easter Feasting' is an understatement. 'Easter Gorging' comes close. 'Easter Food Coma' is perhaps the most appropriate descriptor for my April long weekend, but it doesn't have quite the same ring to it as my happy, rhyming title so feasting it is.
Truth be told, my Easter Feasting began about a week before Jesus' worst-day-ever, with amazing Italian food prepared by my amazing Italian friend (and, I hope, future contributor to this here blog) Luisa. In just four days Luisa managed to revolutionise the way that I make passata (love, you will be pleased to know that the tomato paste has been ceremoniously thrown away!) she blew my mind with fresh piadina, and endeared herself to my housemates with her simply wonderful home made gnocchi. I promise to beg her for recipes some time soon, but in the meantime photographs must suffice:
Frankly I'm surprised that my gnocchi lasted long enough for me to snap a photo. It really was delicious. ("Pillowy" is an adjective that I've heard thrown around in the Masterchef kitchen this year. Well, these babies were so pillowy they almost made me cry with food-delight.) After a weekend of Italian bliss, the crazy non-stop eating more or less continued all week and into the long weekend. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Hot buttery porridge, breakfast on Good friday
Jamie's steak & guinness pie, dinner Saturday night
To my mind, Easter has always been about food and family. Aside from being vaguely terrified by the bloody three-day-death of Jesus that I learnt about in school, religion has never really entered into my festivities. This year, I broke with Easter tradition in more ways than one. Not only did I ignore my local church in favour of the kitchen, but I also challenged myself with a completely unfamiliar recipe- Rabbit Pot Roast. I'd be lying if I didn't receive a few disgusted looks when my rabbit idea was suggested, and as I watched my favourite Queen Vic butcher section the bunny that was to be my meal I came close to baulking myself, but I'm glad I didn't. While far from perfect, the rabbit was tasty indeed. For those of you who would like to feast on something a little unusual, I share the recipe here.
Rabbit Pot Roast
Adapted from some recipe in some book that I can no longer remember nor locate...
What You Will Need
-A Rabbit, cut into six pieces (hind legs, front legs and mid-section split in two - ask your butcher to do this for you. Also ask him to remove the kidneys, something which I neglected to mention. Be warned: removing them was positively horrid)
- 4 large carrots, sliced into chunks
- 1 large brown onion, roughly sliced up
- 200g pine nuts
- Butter - lots of butter
- 1 bunch lemon thyme
- 1 litre of good quality chicken or vegetable stock
- White wine, for cookin' and drinkin'
- Polenta, and more fresh thyme to serve.
What You Will Need To Do
- First, heat a very large oven proof pot over a medium heat. Preheat your oven to around 200c. Melt a generous tablespoon of butter and simmer until it begins to brown, then add the pine nuts, brown those too, and remove the lot and set aside.
- Heat a little more butter, brown the onion, and then carefully seal each section of rabbit - it will begin to look like cooked chicken. Once this is done, lower the heat and pour over a cup of white wine.
- Once the wine has all but cooked off, throw in carrots, two handfuls of lemon thyme, the pine nuts, and finally pour over the stock. Cover your pot and roast in the oven for around thirty minutes.
- While your rabbit is cooking, prepare polenta as per packet instructions. I suggest substituting some of the required water for stock, it just adds a little more flavour.
- Once the rabbit is done, serve over a bed of soft polenta with plenty of fresh thyme on top. Lovely.
M rabbit was enjoyed by all, and it's certainly not as gamy as I was led to believe it would be. Quite the unusual Easter Sunday, don't you think?