Thursday, 4 August 2011

Rabbit and Pearl Barley Stew

I am slowly getting there with my dissertation, I finally decided on looking at why Mrs Beeton and the Book of Household Management was such a success not only in it's own time but why it was still popular well into the 20th century. It's really fascinating and I keep finding out all sorts of interesting things! I also got to look at the first edition of the book today, which was amazing in itself I also discovered that she was advising women about divorce and domestic violence in 1861, so definitely ahead of her time. She was by all accounts quite a woman.

This is obviously not a summer recipe, it's definitely more of a winter warmer! I made this quite some time ago but never got around to posting it. Its a simple barley and rabbit stew and it was very tasty and very warming.

Rabbit and Pearl Barley Stew (adapted from A Taste of My Life - Timothy Spall)
(Serves 2)

1 rabbit, jointed
seasoned flour, for dusting
2 tbsp vegetable oil
150g bacon
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large leek, sliced
100ml white wine
500ml stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp pearl barley

Dust the rabbit pieces with seasoned flour, then shake off any excess. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the rabbit and fry for 3-4 minutes on both sides, or until golden brown all over. Remove and set aside.

Add the bacon to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the onion, garlic and the sliced leeks. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the fennel is softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Return the rabbit to the pan together with the wine, tomato purée and the rosemary. If the rabbit is not completely covered with the liquid, top up with water. Bring to the boil, then stir in the pearl barley, cover and simmer for one hour and 15 minutes, or until the pearl barley is tender.

To serve, spoon into serving bowls.

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