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Rebecca Fletcher, freelance writer and founder of Margot Tries the Good Life

Rebecca Fletcher from Margot Tries the Good Life is a freelance writer, living in Hampshire and writing (and cooking) from the kitchen table.  Moving from the Big Smoke to her own rural idyll in 2013 with her husband, two girls, cats and a working cocker spaniel, she began writing about embracing country living.  These days, knee deep in mud, she has added an assortment of hens, orphan lambs and much more to her little cottage.  She likes nothing more than sharing dishes from her country kitchen and game is on the menu more often than not.

Rabbit Wrapped in Prosciutto Paired with Robert Sinskey Vineyards Commander Zinskey 2011

Wild rabbit is such a wonderfully underrated meat – lean and plentiful all year round, it can take both delicate as well as robust flavour.  A fantastic game meat as it has no close season.

This recipe is one of my dinner party favourites and a winner with guests who have never tried rabbit before.  The prosciutto keeps all the moisture in and prevents the rabbit from becoming dry.  It never fails to disappoint at the dining table.

Rabbit wrapped in prosciutto (Serves 4)

  • 4 saddles of rabbit, boneless
  • 125g mozzarella
  • 8 slices of prosciutto or air dried ham
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary and 1 more set aside
  • 2 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
  •  generous knob of butter
  •  glug of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • glass of red wine
  • ladle of game or chicken stock (I ask for the rabbit bones from the butcher or game supplier and make a light stock from these)
  • a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of double cream

Season the rabbit inside and out with salt and pepper.  Opening out each saddle place a sprig of rosemary down the centre.  Divide the whole mozzarella into four and slice each quarter of cheese into small pieces, placing each piece on top of the rosemary, from the top to the bottom of the rabbit.

Bring the sides of rabbit together, covering the mozzarella and rosemary.  Place two slices of prosciutto over the seam of the rabbit and taking care, wrap the slices of ham around the rabbit.  Ensure that the whole saddle is covered tightly so that the seam does not reopen.  Repeat the process for all four saddles of rabbit.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.  Into a deep frying pan, add the olive oil and butter, allowing the butter to melt and begin to foam.  Place the whole garlic cloves and remaining rosemary into the pan and allow the butter and oil to become infused with the flavour of both.  Remove the garlic and rosemary before adding the rabbit to the pan, searing on all sides and giving a little colour but not allowing the rabbit to cook for too long.  Place the rabbit on a baking tray which has been oiled sparingly.  Cook for no more than 12 minutes in the oven.  Once out of the oven, allow the rabbit to rest with a loose covering of foil whilst preparing the accompanying sauce.

Deglaze the frying pan with the red wine and allow the liquid to bubble away.  Add stock and mustard.  Gently simmer until the liquid has halved.  Finally add the double cream and stir through gently.

Slice saddles of rabbit into medallions, spooning a little of the sauce on top.  Serve with a glass of Robert Sinskey Vineyards Commander Zinskey 2011 and buttery mashed potato, soft polenta, dauphinoise potatoes or even a good spoonful of braised lentils and a generous bed of spinach wilted with plenty of black pepper.

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