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Maltese Rabbit Stew - for Belle and anyone else interested!

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by SuzeJ, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. A while ago there was a thread about rabbit and I promised I'd get the recipe for Maltese Rabbit Stew from my mum who is Maltese. We made the stew this afternoon and plan to eat it as part of a big family dinner tomorrow [​IMG]
    Apparently the Maltese rabbits are very much like French ones ie the meat is a pale colour, almost like chicken, not like the rabbit we have in this country. The rabbits we used are from Makro and weigh 1.2kg so you could use that as a guide for the weight of rabbit needed.
    Joint 2 2.5kg rabbits and marinade overnight in approx 1 glass of red wine. Heat some olive oil and 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a frying pan and brown the joints. When browned remove the rabbit and keep in a separate dish. Deglaze the pan with water and keep this aside, this will be used later as part of the tomato sauce.
    Chop 4 large onions and 4 garlic cloves. Fry in a heavy based pan until coloured, then add 2tsp mixed spice, 1/2tsp medium curry powder and cook with the onions for a few mins, Add 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes, 2tbsp tomato puree, 1/2 bottle of red wine, 4 fresh bay leaves, 1 chicken stock cube and the juices from the deglazed pan.
    When this reaches simmering point add the pieces of rabbit. Depending on how much sauce you like you might need to add more water, also check the thickness of the sauce as it cooks as it will thicken. Simmer until the rabbit is cooked through and tender, probably falling off the bone. Finally ten minutes or so before you're going to serve add a few handfuls of frozen peas.
    The stew is served with spaghetti. Apparently in Malta they often serve the sauce with spaghetti as a starter and the rabbit with potatoes and vegetables as the main. We much prefer it eaten with the spaghetti, the tomato sauce coats the spaghetti with the rabbit pieces sitting on top, then more of the sauce spooned over.

     
  2. A while ago there was a thread about rabbit and I promised I'd get the recipe for Maltese Rabbit Stew from my mum who is Maltese. We made the stew this afternoon and plan to eat it as part of a big family dinner tomorrow [​IMG]
    Apparently the Maltese rabbits are very much like French ones ie the meat is a pale colour, almost like chicken, not like the rabbit we have in this country. The rabbits we used are from Makro and weigh 1.2kg so you could use that as a guide for the weight of rabbit needed.
    Joint 2 2.5kg rabbits and marinade overnight in approx 1 glass of red wine. Heat some olive oil and 2 cloves of crushed garlic in a frying pan and brown the joints. When browned remove the rabbit and keep in a separate dish. Deglaze the pan with water and keep this aside, this will be used later as part of the tomato sauce.
    Chop 4 large onions and 4 garlic cloves. Fry in a heavy based pan until coloured, then add 2tsp mixed spice, 1/2tsp medium curry powder and cook with the onions for a few mins, Add 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes, 2tbsp tomato puree, 1/2 bottle of red wine, 4 fresh bay leaves, 1 chicken stock cube and the juices from the deglazed pan.
    When this reaches simmering point add the pieces of rabbit. Depending on how much sauce you like you might need to add more water, also check the thickness of the sauce as it cooks as it will thicken. Simmer until the rabbit is cooked through and tender, probably falling off the bone. Finally ten minutes or so before you're going to serve add a few handfuls of frozen peas.
    The stew is served with spaghetti. Apparently in Malta they often serve the sauce with spaghetti as a starter and the rabbit with potatoes and vegetables as the main. We much prefer it eaten with the spaghetti, the tomato sauce coats the spaghetti with the rabbit pieces sitting on top, then more of the sauce spooned over.

     
  3. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    i was wondering why you would put a Maltesers in a stew.....


    *goes off for a lie down in a dark room*
     
  4. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    Where's your Mum from in Malta Suze? We lived in Gzira for 3 years when I was a kid and I went to school at RN Verdala in Cospicua.
    Yes Rabbit and Spaghetti is the Maltese national dish!
     
  5. Mum's from Sliema, lapin. Mum spent a lot of her childhood in Malta, Cornwall and then Germany. My dad's English and they met at RAF Bruggen. My mum was in Bruggen as my grandfather, although Maltese, was stationed there. Dad was there as a navigator flying Javelins. Dad left the RAF in 1963 and they settled in England.
    Mum's got family in Malta, mainly in Sliema still and St Julian's. Her and dad holiday in Malta four or five times a year.
     
  6. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    I know Sliema well, last time we went on holiday to Malta we stayed in Sliema and I met the Manager of the language school there, hardly surprising as he's Maltese.
    RAF Bruggen, when o/h and I got married he worked for BFBS at Rheindahlen in Germany and the quarters we lived in had RAF Bruggen behind them, used to get woken by a squadron of Jaguars on night flying exercises!
     
  7. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter


    Most decent butchers will stock rabbit, or will get it for you if you ask.
    I don't think the reason supermarkets don't stock them is purely to annoy you, MM,. as always it comes down to demand, If people wanted them, they'd stock them. They'd have no reason not to. I think the fact is that people in Britain mostly see rabbits as pets - such as they are in your household.
    Although, Waitrose sell rabbit, incidentally.
     
  8. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    It's a common ploy to offer a diverse range of meat and fish when a new supermarket is built. When they opened a Safeways near where we once lived, the fresh fish counter stretched the entire lenth of an aisle and would offer an amazing selection of fish. It put the 3 fishmongers in the town out of business within 3 months. These days it only has 1 relatively small fridge and only supplies a small selection of fish in packets. It has nothing to do with demand, only with supply.

     
  9. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    I know you've waxed lyrical on this a number of times, MM, but do you honestly think that supermarkets deliberately don't sell what customers want?
    From what I've gathered, you believe that the supermarkets will sell what people want until they've forced the competition to shut down, and then stop selling what people want, only selling what they themselves wish to sell, relying on a captive and dumb audience to blindly buy what's on offer, instead of what they actually want to buy. Is that about it?
    Forgive me for my bluntness, MM, but that smacks of a crazed conspiracy theory.
    Do you have any evidence that this is the case?
    Apart from anything, this is a fairly damning view of the general public - that they're quite stupid and don't know what they want and will just buy anything in order not to be an inconvenience.
    Wouldn't it make more sense that the fish counter in your supermarket proved to be unprofitable, due to insufficient demand, and so they closed it and now only sell what is demanded?
    Why wouldn't they sell fish if it's what customers want?
    Why does my local Tesco have a large fish counter that sells lots of fresh fish on ice? Shouldn't they have closed it by now, to the point of virtually refusing to sell fish? No - it's popular, so they keep it running.
    Why wouldn't your supermarket sell rabbit if there was a demand for it? There'd be no reason not to. The reason must be because of a lack of demand. Not everyone out there is adventurous as the foodies on this website, MM. And for many, rabbit can be daunting. Other than its fluffy pet status in this country, it's not an easy animal to cook well, prone to drying out and toughness.

     
  10. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Exactly - I live in South London and my butcher would get it for me if I asked.
    There are people who don't like to eat rabbit for the same reason they don't like to eat venison or veal - its a cute looking animal.
     
  11. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I actually do. If you are luck enough to have a local butcher and want to buy a rabbit, he'll probably oblige. Maybe not today, but when the next delivery arrives. Who would you ask in your supermarket? Customer services? My experience of complaining about the lack of meat in a pack of steak and kidney pies was met with total agreement by the young girl manning the counter, yet refuted later in correspondence from Tesco who assured me they do their best to ensure the quality of their products is second to none. What am I to do in my quest to find worthwhile things to buy other than take the chance of buying the same product again and see if it has been improved? I'm not Watchdog, just a punter.
    Supermarkets now control nearly 80% of the food we buy. There is no crazed conspiracy theory about it. It's fact. What you eat in the UK isn't your choice unless you have the luxury of finding your choices elsewhere, and many people don't. I have the luxury of a local butcher who sells good quality meat. I regard my self lucky these days to have one. He'd do his bit to get me a rabbit if I asked, but I live in a rural community that's able to sustain a local butcher.
    Although he charges more for the service he gives, it's a sight cheaper than a trip to the nearest supermarket. Supermarkets killed off all the competetion when I lived in a town instead of a village. What was I supposed to do? Drive another 16 miles to shop here, order my rabbit and return the next day to collect it? A 64 mile round trip for a dinner of my choice?
    My butcher's time will expire, just as oue greengrocer's did. Probably sooner than he imagines because now people venture to the supermarket to buy veg they will find meat there on special offer as well. It's a remarkably short time between a viable business thriving and closing through lack of customers.
    It's only unprofitable in the short-term. Take away the competition and what do people eat? Whatever is being sold.
    I can't speak about your local Tesco. You've spoken about buying fresh fish elsewhere and I'm envious you can. It isn't as easy if you live inland. What's more intriguing is the abilty Tesco have to fly in out of season vegetables from al parts of the world to all its stores yet not have any consistency in the supply of local fish.
    Come on nick, the lack of demand is a consequence of the lack of availability. Do a google search for chicken recipes and compare the results to rabbit recipes. The only reason there are so more chicken recipes is because it's readily available and everyone is deserate to learn how to make supermarket chicken palateable. Give us rabbit in the supermarket and a weath of recipes will appear as well.
     
  12. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Arghhh....just spent the last 30 minutes posting a response to many of your points, MM, only for the site to throw me off and not post any of it!!
    Will try again tomorrow - a scotch and an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm are needed to calm my frustrations!
     
  13. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    I know the feeling. I've smoked more cigaretes and downed more wine than I ought similarly. Frustrating to say the least.
    As you know, it's an attempt TES are making to rid us undesirable posters, but in the process dumbs down useful debate. As with supermarkets, the lowest common denominators apear to control our lives.
    I trust you sleep well, with the baby and everything, and recover with sufficient vigor to reply as you intended, which I look forward to with eager anticipation.
    May I take the opportunity to say how envious I am at your good fortune to enjoy the company of a new born child? I only had the chance once, and in difficult circumstances, but it stands out among the highlights in my life. The few hours each day I was able to spend with her, teach her to read and later, show her how to cook things, I'm sure enhanced both our lives. When she visits these days (and she's 30 now) she's always in the kitchen asking what she can do to help.
    It's a lot simpler asking questions of her why she thinks supermarkets behave as they do because we have common, shared experiences. In fact, when she was a child and I was as poor as I've ever been, we shopped at Fine Fare, a supermarket that didn't surive
     
  14. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Thanks for the kind words, MM. Will eventually get round to re-writing my response, once I've sufficient time and energy (both being in short supply with a newborn!).

     
  15. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thanks Suze for this recipe. Irather like the idea of serving thre sauce on spaghetti and the rabbit afterwards. I have two bunnies in my freezer at the mo.....this could be their destiny! Just got to pursuade the rest of the family it is ok to eat a fluffy bunny! Maybe I could tell them it's a new and very special kind of chicken [​IMG]
     

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