Rabbit Pitta Pockets

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:00 29 July 2015

Rabbit is mild in flavour and can be used in place of chicken or pork in many recipes

Rabbit is mild in flavour and can be used in place of chicken or pork in many recipes

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Jane Price makes a delicious carry-along lunch for the hungry airgunner

The spices in the sauce can be changed depending on your personal preference, or what you have in the cupboardThe spices in the sauce can be changed depending on your personal preference, or what you have in the cupboard

My parents’ generation remember regularly eating rabbit in their childhood, because during the Second World War people kept and bred their own rabbits for food. Resourceful homeowners did what they could to feed their families as food became scarce as rationing was introduced, and rabbits were ideal for this due to their good rate of reproduction all year round.

Nowadays, it’s unusual to see rabbit on the average dinner table, but this is due to fashion rather than quality of the meat. Rabbit is mild in flavour and can be used in place of chicken or pork in many recipes.

This is one of those recipes that are a pleasure to cook, because it gives an opportunity for experimenting with flavours. The spices in the sauce can be changed depending on your personal preference, or what you have in the cupboard.

For alternative ingredients, you could use chilli powder or cayenne in place of the fresh chilli, or add mustard, or paprika, for a milder flavour, and honey can be used instead of dark brown sugar, although this will give you a slightly different texture and colour.

Spices are often dry-fried in a hot pan for a few seconds before adding to a sauce, but the use of onions here helps to prevent the spices from burning. When the fennel seeds are added, the delicious aroma released as they cook fills the kitchen.

Why not wrap up these pitta pockets in foil and take them for a picnic, or to keep you going on a trip to get more rabbits!

Method:

1) Simmer the whole rabbit in a large pan of water for 40 minutes

2) Remove the meat from the rabbit once cool

3) Crush the fennel seeds, garlic and chilli in a pestle and mortar

4) Fry the onion in the oil and butter for five minutes

5) Add the crushed fennel seeds, garlic and chilli mix, and cook for couple of minutes

6) Add the sugar and keep stirring for five minutes

7) Add the soy sauce and passata and mix well

8) Simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened

9) Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste

10) Add the rabbit meat and mixing until warmed through

11) Spoon the mixture into pitta pockets and add some salad leaves

Tip: The sauce can be used as a dip, or to coat spare ribs, sausages and chicken

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