Ingredients for Rabbit Casserole:
1kg Rabbit (skinned and jointed)
200g Chorizo (sliced 1cm thick)
100g Swede (diced)
200g Parsnip (diced)
200g Celeriac (diced)
160g Baby onions
3 Garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
6 Juniper berries (crushed)
1 bottle of Merlot (or bold wine)
500ml Chicken or Game stock
2 Bay leaves
5 Sprigs of Thyme
2tbsp Plain flour
2 tsp Olive oil
Ingredients for Pan Haggerty:
1 Onion (sliced thinly)
50g Unsalted butter
200g Celeriac (grated)
200g Carrot (grated)
200g Potato (grated)
100g Wensleydale cheese (grated)
Now take the rabbit pieces and place in into the chorizo/oil juice and gently cook, turning the pieces so that they brown evenly. Once golden brown, turn up the heat and add in the chorizo, swede, parsnip, celeriac, baby onions, garlic, juniper berries and herbs. Stir to combine and add the red wine and stock, keeping back a cup of wine, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 5-10mins.
Whilst the casserole is stewing, take the remaining wine and add a tablespoon of the flour that has been left over and mix with the wine to make a gloopy but smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of water to the paste so the consistency becomes a liquid, then gently pour this into the casserole mix. Don't worry if there are a few small lumps left, as this will dissipate during the cooking. Stir the casserole and then place in the oven for 1.5hours.
For the Pan Haggerty, there are many variations of this lovely Northumberland dish and this version I think is a little less fattening but packs a lovely punch. To start with, pop the butter in a sauce pan and melt, then gently sweat the thinly sliced onion for 10mins - don't let them brown. Personally, I like to use a mandolin so that the slices are even and very thin. Whilst the onions are sweating, take all your grated vegetables, place into the centre of a tea towel, pull up the edges and twist so that the water is squeeze out.
Then take a rectangle oven dish (19cms) and begin to make your Pan Haggerty by layering the vegetables, (mixed grated potato, celeriac & carrot) first, then layer on the onions, followed by a layer of grated cheese. Then repeat the layers until you have no ingredients left but finishing with a layer of cheese. Season with fresh cracked pepper and then place in the oven (with the rabbit) for 1 hour until cooked through and bubbling/golden brown on top.
Once the Rabbit has been in the oven for 1.5 hours, take it out, removing all the joints of rabbit, then bring the sauce to a boil and simmer so that it reduces to a syrupy consistency. Check the seasoning.
When it comes to serving, place some of the rabbit on a plate with a wedge or square stack of Pan Haggerty alongside and pour over the vegetables and sauce. I personally take the bones out of the rabbit before plating but it's not essential.