Sometimes I think my memory is starting to fail in this old age of mine because I remember eating rabbit in spring (alternated with lamb dinners of course) but in reality rabbit is in season in autumn/winter, isn't it? Like the rest of game because that's when you want to make long and slow simmering stews that warm the home and fill it with cosy smells when it's cold outside.
And then, when I think about it, rabbit also reminds me of Panamá; mum gets in front of the stove and gets cooking for grandma and my cousins who don't tend to make rabbit themselves. Me I tend to stay away from the kitchen in that house because there isn't even a fan and I'm no friend of high temperatures so I just sit outside with my book and look up when the plates start coming out: rabbit for grandma and my cousins and arroz con pollo for mum and me because we didn't pay all that money to fly to the other side of the world to eat rabbit.
I also like rabbit because it's cheap and in January we are all trying to save and with £3-4 I can feed at least 4 people without having to make roast chicken every time. I like being fancy every now and again! Oh, and obviously I like the fact that I can just put it in the pot with all the other ingredients and leave it there for a couple of hours whilst I enjoy my guests' company.
This recipe calls for taggiasche olives which are not black but that delicate plum colour you see only in small and sweet dark olives. If you cannot find taggiasche olives then use the sweetest dark olives you can find, if you were to use normal black olives it would not be quite right...
Rabbit with olive taggiasche
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 cup taggiasche olives
4 garlic cloves crushed but with skins still on
1 fennel finely chopped (if you don't like fennel you could use courgette or peas)
1/4 cup capers
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
2 small red onions finely sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Caramelise the onions by slowly browning them in 1tbsp of the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. This will take about 40 minutes.
Set the onions aside.
Put the rest of the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan and heat up on a medium heat.
Add the garlic and rabbit and brown lightly.
Add all other ingredients including the caramelised onions, bring to a boil and then lower the heat to the minimum and let simmer for a couple of hours or until the rabbit meat is tender.