I’m including a picture here for the comedy value but next time I’ll stick to a clingfilm-lined loaf tin. The result was a little too life-like and not in a good way: I hadn’t taken into account the colour of the finished terrine, a sort of mottled pink. Visually, it was a bit scary. My bunny looked like it had been skinned in an evil experiment. ‘It’s rabbit, Jim, but not as we know it.’
Still, it tasted good and as you’re far more likely to have a loaf or terrine tin handy, I’ll pass on the recipe. I used a gammon hock weighing just under half a kilo and the saddles and hind legs of two wild rabbits. You can, if you prefer, make it entirely with ham, in which case flecking it with finely chopped parsley would be a good idea. Just mix it in with the diced meat.
Rabbit and Ham Terrine
1 ham hock, about 500g
The saddles and hind legs of two wild rabbits
2 sticks of celery
6-8 black peppercorns
A small bunch of parsley or parsley stalks
2 bay leaves
1 glass of white wine
Enough gelatine to set 1 litre of liquid
Peel and roughly chop the vegetables and put them in a stock pot with the herbs, peppercorns and ham hock. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour. Don’t add any salt at this point.
Add the rabbit joints and the wine and cook for another 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the stock and set aside to cool, then dice most of the meat but cut the better pieces into long thin strips. Mix the diced ham and rabbit and check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. As you’ll be eating this cold, err on the side of stronger seasoning or it’ll taste insipid.
Strain the stock, pour it back into the cleaned pan and reduce by about half … until the stock has intensified in flavour. Check the seasoning but you’ll probably find it’s salty enough.
Follow the instructions on your gelatine packet … leaves will need to be soaked in cold water for 10 minutes. When they’ve softened, squeeze out the excess water and put them in a saucepan with the litre of stock. Heat until the gelatine has dissolved.
Line two small loaf tins with cling film and put a layer of chopped meat at the bottom. Dribble over a little of the jellied stock. Cover with a layer of sliced meat and repeat until you’re nearly at the top of the terrine, ending with a layer of diced meat. Press down to ensure it’s all covered by the stock, and then chill in the fridge until set, preferably overnight.
Unmould onto a plate and cut into thick slices. It makes a good lunch or starter with pickles and chutneys, a green salad and some country bread. Just don’t use a bunny rabbit mould.