Rabbit pâté


  • 2 rabbits, cut into 8 pieces (you can ask the butcher to do this for you)
  • 1 piece pork belly, (about 500 g) skinless and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 bay leaves, torn in half
  • 2 bulbs garlic, cut in half horizontally (axis)
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme + ½ t finely chopped thyme
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary + ½ t finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • ground mace
  • 4/5 c duck fat
  • ½ c Prosecco
  • ½ t cayenne
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar (reduced by half)
  • 4 T sundried tomato, finely chopped
  • 4 T pine nuts, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Brown the pork belly in batches in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Transfer to a deep baking dish. Reserve about a tablespoon of the rendered fat in the pan. Brown the rabbit pieces in batches to get a nice colouring. Transfer to the same dish, which should be large enough to hold all the meat in a single layer. Generously season with salt and pepper and tuck in whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary, torn bay leaves, and garlic bulbs and cloves. Sprinkle in a good pinch of mace as well.

Deglaze the pan with the prosecco: pour in the wine, turn up the heat and let it bubble while you scrape up any bits of caramelized meat from the pan. Pour the liquid over the meat in the baking dish. Add the rendered duck fat and a glass of water. The meat should be almost covered. Roast in the hot oven for about 30 minutes. Turn heat down to 300ºF and continue cooking for 2½ hours until the meat is fork tender and easily pulls away from the bones.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before removing the rabbit meat from the bones. Shred all the meat and place in a large bowl. Season with more pepper, more mace, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, cayenne, lemon juice and balsamic reduction. Set aside.

Pour the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a jug and wait for the fat to separate before skimming it off. Reserve.

Place both meats in an upright mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until it breaks down to very fine shreds. Turn the speed to low and pour reserved stock into the mixture — just enough to moisten — and then add the duck fat to bind. Or, mix the pork, rabbit meat and duck fat together by hand. Pour skimmed juices over the shredded meat mixture. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved fat, and give the whole thing a really good mix.

Fold in sundried tomato and pine nuts. Mixture can be packed into ceramic terrine mould, making sure that there are no air pockets.

Serve at room temperature with good-quality crusty bread and balsamic picked onions.

Read more recipes from the Scrugg’s Family Ferragosto meal.