After encountering a language barrier on a bunny shoot in Scotland, Tim Maddams lets these spicy minced rabbit dumplings do the talking. Serves two.
Why rabbit dumplings?
I have shot bolting rabbits before and often not had much success, but this day will stay with me as the rabbits were plentiful and the farmer was delighted that we managed a hefty bag. A shotgun-shot fully grown rabbit is not the most delicate of morsels for use in the kitchen — fully flavoured, but often peppered with shot from less-than-perfect shooting. This rabbit dumplings dish is ideal, however, as you will be mincing the meat, so any bunnies that get shot at the wrong end can be carefully handled before mincing, ensuring they get used up.
Another good piece of advice to follow when you are skinning and preparing the rabbits is to make sure that you remove the two small brownish-grey glands from by the tail, because these will adversely affect the flavour if left in. They tend to make the flavour of the meat a little too strong for many people and can lead to the rabbit falling from grace as a tasty and healthy meat.
Rabbit dumplings, game and miso broth recipe
For the dough:
- 100g strong flour
- 60g cold water
- a good pinch of sesame seeds
For the broth:
- 570ml good game stock
- 1tsp dark miso paste
- Soy sauce, to season
For the filling:
- 150g minced rabbit meat (IT IS BEST to use the haunches)
- ½tsp Chinese five spice
- 1 dsp chopped coriander and spring onion
- 1tsp each of chopped ginger and garlic
- A few chilli flakes
- First, make the dough. This is as simple as mixing all the ingredients together and working to a dough. Allow this to rest for a few minutes before attempting to roll it out.
- Next, season the rabbit meat. Then, again, mix the ingredients together thoroughly. This mixture can be made in a bigger batch and frozen for use as and when it is needed.
- Place the broth in a saucepan on the stove to warm. Use whatever game stock is handy or knock up a quick rabbit stock with the bones from the bunnies. Dissolve a teaspoon of dark miso paste into the stock to give it real depth and a touch of the umami joy that miso imparts to anything it encounters. Add some soy sauce to season.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s thin enough for you to be able to see through it. Use a straight-edged pastry ring to cut out circles of dough, each approximately 10cm across. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the meat mixture into the middle of each dough circle, then crimp up the edges carefully to seal them well.
- Once all the dough circles have been made into rabbit dumplings, pop them into the simmering broth and leave them to cook for around four or five minutes.
- Ladle the cooked rabbit dumplings into warmed bowls, along with lashings of the tasty broth, and top with a garnish, as suggested in the box below, if you like that kind of thing.