Andy Fenner and Pete Goffe-Wood know a thing or two about meat. Andy sells it for a living. Pete cooks it for a living. What they both have in common is a love for the weird, sometimes scary, cuts of the animal.
We spent a day with them at Pete’s restaurant and cookery school where they prepared a few dishes based on the less fashionable parts of the animal. Andy – a food writer – looked comfortable sharing a stove with the celebrated chef. “If I can do this, so can you,” he reasons.
Initially we were unsure. But watching them work, a lot of our doubts have been put to rest. “As with most cooking, you need imagination”, Andy told us.”But you need to brave too. We need to embrace nose-to-tail eating but to do that we all need to try things we aren’t familiar with, Just suck it up! What’s the worst that can happen?” We aren’t sure. But here’s what they produced…
Andy’s Beer Braised Rabbit:
“Rabbit for me is a hugely underrated meat. I find it bizarre that people won’t eat it because it’s cute and cuddly. For me the life of a rabbit is worth the same as a cow, for example. Most South Africans will hoover up a steak but will cringe at the thought of eating ‘bunny’. If you try this recipe out, choose your beer carefully. As with wine, you want something with a bit of backbone and something of a high quality. With my love for craft beer I’ve settled on the Darling Native Ale.”
What you’ll need to feed 4 – 6 people:
- A handful of roughly chopped onion
- A handful of roughly chopped celery
- A handful of roughly chopped carrot
- 5 cloves of garlic, whole
- 3 – 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed
- 3 – 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
- 1 rabbit
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 500ml of good-quality vegetable stock
- 500ml of your favourite beer
- One packet of baby spinach
- Zest of one lemon, for garnish
- A bunch of roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
- Polenta, to serve
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 160 °C.
In a large pot, gently fry off your onions, celery and carrot until softened. Add your garlic along with the rosemary and thyme. Add the rabbit and cook until browned on both sides (a few minutes will do it). Season with salt and pepper and pour in the stock, the beer and a little water if necessary. You want the rabbit to be submerged. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cook with the lid on the oven for two and a half hours.
Using a pair of tongs, remove the rabbit and set aside to cool. It will probably be falling apart now so make sure you get all the bones out.
Place the pot back on stove and reduce the stock gently until you’re happy with the consistency.
Meanwhile, once the rabbit has cooled, shred it and add the meat back to the liquid. When your sauce has thickened up, add the spinach and make your polenta as per packet instructions.
To serve, spoon wet polenta onto a big wooden board. Top with the rabbit and some sauce poured over the top. As a final flourish garnish with the parsley and lemon zest.
Pete’s Sauté of Duck Livers, Chorizo, Butterbeans, Tomato, Garlic, Lemon & Parsley
- Oil for sautéing
- 100 g chorizo, sliced
- 200 g duck livers
- 3 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tin butterbeans, drained
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (reserve a pinch for garnish)
- 100g unsalted butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Heat a little oil in a hot sauté pan.
Add the chorizo, when the chorizo begins to take on some colour add the duck livers followed by the roughly chopped tomato. As the tomato begins to break down add the butterbeans, garlic, chopped parsley, butter and the lemon juice.
When the butter has melted remove the pan from the heat and serve.
Adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Here are some more recipes from Andy and Pete, click on the captions to see the recipes: