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Slow Cooked Rabbit with Prunes and Beer

As featured by Nigel Barden on Simon Mayo's Drivetime on BBC Radio 2
40g/1 ½ oz butter
30ml/2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
8 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
2tbsp plain flour
2tsps cracked pepper
2 rabbits, jointed into 6 pieces each
200ml/7fl oz beer
600ml/1 pint chicken stock
2 bay leaves
8 juniper berries, crushed
250g/9oz D’Agen prunes
2 squares good quality dark, bitter chocolate, grated
1. Heat half the butter and oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion and cook gently for 6 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic, celery and bacon and cook for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from pan and set to one side.

2. Place the flour and cracked pepper in a large plastic bag and season with salt. Add the rabbit pieces and shake well to coat each piece evenly.

3. Heat the remaining butter and oil in the sauté pan and fry the rabbit in batches until golden on both sides. Transfer the rabbit to another large pan.

4. Return the onion, celery and bacon mixture to the sauté pan and add any leftover flour from the plastic bag. Stir well for 1 minute.

5. Stir in the beer and stock, scraping up all the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Add the bay, juniper and prunes. Pour all the liquid over the rabbit, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 2 ½ hours.

6. Lift out the rabbit and place on a warm serving dish. Whisk the chocolate into the sauce, season to taste and pour over rabbit. Serve with potato mash.

Slow Cooked Rabbit with Prunes and Beer
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