The Easter Bunny meets its match

09 Apr

Look away now if you’re a fan of rabbits or have them as pets, as this post probably isn’t for you. Some may say it’s cruel, even perverse to cook up a rabbit dish on a bank holiday weekend which has for its mascot a giant Easter egg delivering rabbit. Well, I had rabbits as pets when I was younger and they bit me a lot, leaving me with very little sympathy towards the creatures, so consider this revenge PJ, Funny Bunny and the er, one whose name I can’t remember! Plus, the Easter bunny brought me no eggs this year, apparently I’m “too old” or something so its fair to say I’m not a fan. So todays dish was rabbit bolognese from Jamies Great Britain (which I’m now renaming Easter Bunny bolognese) and had me up at 7am on Easter Monday to put it in the oven, because this bad boy takes 12 hours to cook. Yes, 12, I know. But after 20 minutes prep which involved browning some bacon and then chucking in a whole rabbit, veg, herbs, tinned tomatoes and beer I wisely went back to bed to enjoy the last day of the long weekend. Which meant waking up at 10 to the flat filled with this amazing aroma that made me wish it could have been cooked in half the time, as the cereal I had for breakfast really didn’t suppress the appetite this smell was creating. After 12 hours, Jamie instructed me to let it cool for a little while and then to don a pair of rubber gloves and start scrunching all the veg and the meat so that it turned into mush (the onions and veg were all put in whole at the start), and also to remove all the bones from the rabbit. This was tricky, as even after cooling down for half hour it was still very hot, and no matter how much you look, you will find small bits of bone while you’re eating the bolognese. I could have left it to cool for a little while longer, but by this time it was 7:30 and I was very hungry. Heat won’t stop me when my tummy’s rumbling! The verdict? Well it really wasn’t too impressive considering it took so long to cook and nearly burnt through the rubber gloves to my poor hands. While I do like Jamie Olivers recipes in general, sometimes I think he forgets that people aren’t chefs and don’t always have time/inclination/money to cook his long winded recipes. I don’t know about everyone else, but if I’m going to have to smell deliciousness for 12 hours and then nearly burn my hands, I’m going to want the taste to be just as good as the smell. At the end of the day he’s a chef and you can tell this when comparing his recipes to home cooks like Nigella. Nigellas’ recipes keep working, busy people fully in mind, whereas I feel Jamie gets so caught up in his own passion for food that he forgets not everyone is so enthusiastic, or if they are, they still aren’t chefs and want things to be simple and tasty. Don’t even get me started on Jamies 30 Minute Meals book, I could be here all day. I’ll save that for another post though, possibly when I cook from that very book. At the end of the day, I’ve made much better bolognese sauces or ragus from scratch in the past and it didn’t take as long and tasted a great deal nicer. There is absolutely loads of this left as well, which I’m a bit gutted about as I don’t have any desire to eat it again, but will not throw away. It’ll probably end up in the freezer for several years now, shame.

Also this weekend I cooked chicken, coconut and cashew nut curry from the book Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. This book includes recipes from countries her relatives came from and of places she’s been, so it includes food from Cyprus, Scandinavian countries, South Africa, Greece, etc… Its a very pretty book with something for everyone, but I’ve rarely cooked from it which is a shame. This curry recipe hasn’t been given a country of origin, but I’m guessing from somewhere in India by looking at the ingredients. It’s not too bad, some mouthfuls seemed to be really flavoursome and others not so much, unsure why that is. I wouldn’t cook it again as its pretty unexciting, and I had doubled the spice quantities as I like flavour to smack my tastebuds, not gently stroke them. Still wasn’t enough to spice this curry up though. Like I’ve said before, Indian curries seem to be completely beyond my capability, I should leave it to the pros.

I’ve also cooked millionaires shortbread with rosemary infused salted caramel, but these are still setting in the fridge so will just have to wait to see what they taste like. I’m intrigued by the combination of caramel and rosemary…

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Baking, Books, Chicken, Cooking, Food


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