Recipe: secret

Rating: 4.9 stars based on 1807 reviews

Wild rabbit has a lovely light, gamey flavour domestic rabbit can’t match, with July to December being the period in which the best specimens can be purchased.


Rabbit ballotine with remoulade


  • Serves 8
  • 1 whole rabbit

The filling

  • 150g boned rabbit leg meat
  • 40-50g rabbit liver or chicken livers
  • 2 rabbit kidneys (optional)
  • 60g pork sausage meat
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 small sprig of thyme
  • Half a clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Pass all the ingredients except the thyme and garlic through a mincer.

    Remove the leaves from the thyme and add them to the mince along with the garlic, adding a good pinch of salt and some pepper.

To finish

  • 1 rabbit saddle
  • 200g pig’s caul


  • Clean and debone the rabbit saddle. Turn the saddle so the loins are face down on the chopping board and stretch out the belly flaps. Using a sharp boning knife, make an incision along the bone near the ribs, cutting down along the saddle bone until the loin becomes free. Repeat the process on the other side of the saddle bone. Carefully remove the bone from the fine membrane that attaches the loins along the top of the backbone, trying not to puncture the membrane.
  • Place the saddle over a large piece of cling film.
  • Place the stuffing on the saddle and roll into a roulade.
  • Tie with string all along the length of the roulade.
  • Poach in barely simmering water for 12 - 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly, remove the cling film.
  • Wrap in bacon and fry in butter until browned.
  • The original was:
  • Lay out a large piece of the pig’s caul on a chopping board and tightly wrap it around the rabbit so it holds its shape. Place the stuffed rabbit on a piece of tinfoil, wrap it tightly, then place the rabbit in a steamer and cook for 40 minutes. Heat some oil in a heavy pan. Once the rabbit is cooked, sear it in the pan until evenly coloured then remove it and leave it until it reaches room temperature, then refrigerate overnight to set.
  • =============================

    The remoulade


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinch caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250ml peanut or sunflower oil


  • Whisk the yolks in a bowl with the mustard, vinegar and sugar, slowly drizzling the oil into the bowl, allowing it to emulsify with the yolks, until all the oil is incorporated. Season the mayonnaise with salt.
  • =============================

    Remoulade garnish


    • 1 hard-boiled egg
    • 2 gherkins, very finely diced
    • 2tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil)
    • 1 salted anchovy fillet, crushed to a paste


    • Peel the egg, pass it through a fine sieve then mix it into the mayonnaise with the gherkins, herbs and anchovy. Place the remoulade sauce in a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate.
    • To serve, place a good spoonful of remoulade sauce on a cold plate, using the back of the spoon to form a large even circle. Using a sharp carving knife, cut a 1cm-thick slice of ballotine and put it on top of the remoulade sauce.
    • Arrange a little salad of soft herbs – tarragon, chives and chervil, for example – around the plate. Serve with some toasted sourdough bread.
    • Well-balanced with layer upon layer of ripe fruit besides the bright acidity and earthy, spicy quality that makes chianti such a good wine for food.


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