Rabbit loin with sage and rosemary, braised lentils

This month’s Good Food Hats Off Dinner included a delicious four-course meal inspired by the Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians and Etruscans.

Here is Stefano’s recipe for the Phoenician secondo shared on the night.

Sella di coniglio alla salvia e rosmarino con lenticchie      
Rabbit loin with sage and rosemary, braised lentils     

  • 2 rabbit saddles, each carefully boned as one whole piece
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 150g rabbit livers and hearts
  • 100g butter
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 cup chopped rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50g caul fat
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Make the stuffing by lightly frying the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft but not burnt. Add the livers and the hearts and cook for 5 minutes. Take from the heat and add to the breadcrumbs, rosemary, the sage leaves (chopped), salt and pepper. Mix well and let it cool down. Lay the caul fat on a clean board or a clean kitchen bench. Put one rabbit saddle on it. Distribute the stuffing evenly into the middle, making sure that the stuffing is just enough to roll (too much will be difficult to hold). Roll up so that the caul fat covers the loin completely in a tight sausage. Wrap it tight in cling film and set in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Vac pac each loin. Water bath at 65C for 20-25 minutes depending on size. Finish by browning cooked loin in a pan or grill. Slice and serve with lentils and reduced rabbit sauce. Serves 6 as a main course.

Braised lentils

  • 100g lentils, washed
  • 1/2 celery heart finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot finely chopped1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small leek sliced into half rounds about 1/2 cm thick
  • 1 sprig rosemary chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

In a braising pan, lightly fry the vegetables off in a little extra virgin olive oil until they soften, without colouring them.  Add the chopped rosemary and thyme and continue to sweat.  Add lentils and stir. Add water till lentils are covered.Simmer lentils till tender- 40-60 minutes. Add more water if necessary during cooking.When lentils are cooked, stir in crushed garlic, parsley and seasoning. Cool till needed.

Serves 6 to accompany Rabbit.