Ingredients:

• rabbit forelegs • smoked bacon • olive oil • bay leaf • dried thyme • fresh chilli • salt and pepper • garlic • onion • celery • milk plain flour • butter • mustard • cheese • breadcrumbs

Method

1. Trim the rabbit meat off the bone then chop it with some smoked bacon into small pieces. Brown the meat off by frying it in olive oil with the bay, thyme and chilli.

2. Add salt and pepper and finely diced garlic, onion and celery. Once browned, remove from the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaf and leave the rest

to stand.

3. Pour ½pt of cold milk into a saucepan then add 1oz flour, 1oz butter and ½ teaspoon of mustard then whisk well on a high heat. As its warms slowly add 2oz of grated cheese, whisking in well until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and put to one side.

4. Mix 1oz grated cheese and 1oz breadcrumbs in a bowl. Empty the rabbit mix into a greased ovenproof dish. Pour over the cream sauce and sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumbs on the top. Place in a pre-heated oven at 190°C/ gas mark 5, for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned. Serve hot with watercress.

Tips

Weigh out everything in advance. Fresh chilli is optional and more mustard can be used as a substitute – dried mustard powder is best. If the cheese and butter are salted you may not need to add salt. The easiest way to make breadcrumbs is to use nearly stale bread and either whiz it up in a blender or break apart with your fingers