Rice with Rabbit

The name might not be appetizing but the dish certainly is!

This recipe is from the late Santi Santamaria a legend in Catalan cookery.

Ingredients for 4 people:

320gr rice        500gr rabbit pieces          1 finely chopped red pepper                         1 finely chopped onion                      4 ripe tomatoes          100gr peas        2 garlic cloves          a pinch of saffron            20gr almonds           salt              beef stock (800ml ) and olive oil

*Optional extra for the ‘picada’ add a little of the rabbit liver , in the original recipe this isn´t included.

The ‘Picada’ is something typically used in a wide range of Catalan dishes to blend and thicken juices. It is often composed of finely chopped almonds, bread,garlic and a liquid element ( normally stock or olive oil ) and is made in a mortar.

Note about the rabbit: If you don´t buy from a butchers you can often buy a whole rabbit chopped up into parts with the liver in packs. For this recipe we have used a mixture of parts.

Heat the oil (until very hot) in a large terracotta dish , add the rabbit pieces and cook until golden. Remove the rabbit and place to one side , now add the onion and pepper to the oil and fry until soft.

Once the pepper and onion are soft , return the rabbit to the dish and stir for 5 minutes until there is hardly any juice and the ingredients have come together. Now add the stock, then the peas and leave until it starts to boil. Meanwhile prepare the ‘picada’ in a mortar with saffron, garlic, almonds and a little of the stock from the terracotta dish, the texture should be like a paste.

When the stock starts to boil turn the heat down to medium,add the rice and a little salt,and leave to simmer gently for ten minutes (be careful that it doesn´t stick). Add the ‘picada’ and when it has been absorbed by the rice remove from the heat and put in the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.

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