Fortnum & Mason’s rabbit potted in duck fat is doubly preserved, first by curing with traditional English spice and then by potting with the traditional technique. A particularly good recipe from Tom Parker Bowles and (a little) innovative in its use of the fat instead of butter and in cooking the rabbit with it.
For the cure:
- about 6 oz good coarse salt; we like Maldon
- 3 peeled, smashed and minced garlic cloves
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 Tablespoon ground fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- heaped teaspoon dreid thyme
- ½ teaspoon powdered bay
- 4 rabbit legs
For the pot:
- about 1 lb duck fat
- a peeled carrot cut lengthwise in quarters
- a quartered shallot
- a sprig of rosemary
- a chopped bunch of parsley leaves (no stems)
- Mix together the ingredients of the cure and put the rabbit legs in a quart freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible, seal the bag and refrigerate it for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350˚.
- Rinse the cure from the rabbit legs and dry them thoroughly.
- Drop the rabbit into a heavy oven pot with the carrot, shallot and rosemary, add the fat and simmer the fat to cover everything.
- Cover the pot with a round of silicone or parchment paper, top it tightly with the lid and bake it until the meat is easy to pull from the bone.
- Pull the legs, carrot and shallot from the fat with a pair of tongs and let them cool.
- Toss the rabbit skin and pull the meat from the bones: Blast the carrot and shallot to small bits in a food processor.
- Combine the meat and vegetables with the parsley in a bowl balanced on a bigger bowl filled with ice and water.
- Heat and strain the fat and stir about a third or so of it into the rabbit mixture. It “should,” as Parker Bowles says, “emulsify.”
- Pot the rabbit, in one or more pots, and film it or each one with fat.
- Chill the potted rabbit but let it reach room temperature for service.
-Our recipe is derived from The Cook Book: Fortnum & Mason Est 1707 (London 2016)
-Parker Bowles grinds his own spice for the cure, an exemplary if tiresome habit. His use of amounts of unground ingredients equal to our ground ones results in a higher proportion of salt.
-You could of course substitute duck itself or chicken for the rabbit.