Bagging a young rabbit gives Cai Ap Bryn the perfect excuse to cook one of his favourite dishes - a spicy, aromatic Indonesian-style curry. Serves two to three.
I love a good curry, especially a nice aromatic coconut one. I have written a handful of rabbit recipes over the past year, but this rabbit curry recipe is a particular favourite. As we head deeper into the winter, it makes for really hearty soul food and is absolutely packed full of flavour. For this recipe, I use a three-quarter-sized rabbit. Do try to avoid anything too old or tough, as the meat can be a little bit drier.
Indonesian-style rabbit curry recipe
Being a big fan of spicy foods, I often experiment with different types of curries. I particularly like an aromatic Indonesian-style curry, which is where I got my inspiration for this dish. The peanut butter works really well with the rabbit and slightly thickens the sauce. For this rabbit, I used my Ruger American .17HMR from Viking Arms. I have a little paddock that I often wander over to keep tabs on the rabbit population. Numbers have increased this year, so I have been lucky enough to be able to take one or two for the pot. There is something really satisfying about going for a nice walk with a rifle in hand. On an evening stroll recently, it didn’t take me long to spot a group of three rabbits in the bottom corner of the paddock. I managed to get within 60m of the group and rested my rifle on a post at the bottom of the paddock, which gave me enough cover to take a shot. With a .17HMR, as most of you will know, you really need to aim for a head shot as the ballistic tip can cause a lot of meat damage. As soon as I squeezed the trigger, I knew it was a solid shot. The rabbit dropped without a flinch and I went over to pick up the most important ingredient for the curry.
Coconut rabbit curry
This rabbit curry recipe is based on a jointed rabbit, but the meat can be boned first. Most of the meat will be situated on the back legs and loins, so take some time to remove it all before cutting it into inch-sized pieces for poaching in the curry sauce.
- 1 three-quarter-sized rabbit, about 1.5kg
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 bird’s eye chillies
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp ginger paste (available from most supermarkets)
- 100g peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- Lime juice and zest
- 1 lemongrass stalk
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 600ml chicken stock
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Fry the onions, garlic and chillies in the oil for two minutes in a wok or frying pan on a medium to high heat until they become soft. Then add the curry powder, turmeric and chilli powder. Keep stirring for another four minutes.
2 Add the ginger paste, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice and zest and continue to cook for another two minutes on a medium heat. A splash of water may need to be added at this point to prevent sticking.
3 Gently bash the lemongrass stalk with a rolling pin to release the flavour and place it in the pot. Next, sprinkle over the cornflour so that it mixes with all of the ingredients in the pan.
4 Add the chicken stock, then the coconut milk and stir slowly so it gently starts to thicken.
5 Stir in the brown sugar, then add the jointed rabbit pieces to the curry.
6 Place on the hob on a slow simmer and cook for an hour and a half. Again, if it needs more liquid, add water until it is the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serve the curry with a wedge of lime, some sticky rice and a cold beer.