EMW-featuredGreat British Menu

This year the Great British Menu marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The chefs created dishes that evoke the wartime spirit of the generation as well as honour the bravery shown throughout the Second World War.

South West Chef Emily Watkins was picked to cook the fish course at the banquet but her main course “Don’t Come Back Empty Handed” a rabbit dish, attracted a lot of attention and praise.

Emily has very kindly let Taste of Game feature the dish along with two other of her game recipes.

Emily  who is a mother of three and chef owner at The Kingham Plough, Oxfordshire. www.thekinghamplough.co.uk

Emily said ‘I was delighted to win a course & felt hugely honoured to be able to cook for the veterans at the banquet.  I am pleased that Taste of Game is featuring my “Don’t Come Back Empty Handed” main course ‘

Don’t Come Back Empty Handed

By Alistair Kennedy Published: June 13, 2014

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Rabbit, hodge podge pudding, turnips, carrots and potatoes



  1. For the hodge podge pudding, grind the spices, making sure they are all well ground. Soak the breadcrumbs in the pig’s blood until completely softened, about 20 minutes. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly and leave to stand for 1 hour, mixing every 15 minutes. Pour into a deep lined baking tray. Bake at 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for 1 hour 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. For the hodge podge crumble, finely chop the cooked hodge podge pudding. Place on a tray in the dehydrator, or in a low oven, and dry for 2 hours. Blitz to a 'soil' consistency.
  3. For the rabbit sauce, roast the rabbit bones in a little oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Remove from the pan. Roast the vegetables and herbs in the same pan. Place all of the above in a stock pot and cover with brown chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, skimming regularly. Then, pass through a chinois or fine sieve. Reduce to required sauce consistency.
  4. For the slow-cooked leg, debone the rabbit legs. Peel the carrot and slice on the mandolin. Cut a piece of parchment and brush with melted butter. Lay the carrot on the buttered parchment and season with sugar and salt. Place another piece of buttered parchment over the top, slide into a vac pack bag and seal tightly. Cook at 95°C/200°F for 10 minutes. Alternatively, sandwich between two baking trays and place in the oven at 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2 for 15 minutes. Place in an ice bath to chill. Open up the rabbit legs and remove any sinew or veins. Lay the carrot and 2 tarragon leaves per leg inside and roll in. Wrap in caul fat and place in a vac bag with a little duck fat. Seal tightly and cook in a water bath at 65°C/150°F for 2 hours to order. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Melt the duck fat in a pan and add the rabbit. Cook in the oven for 1½ hours.
  5. For the rabbit banger, trim the rabbit loins of any sinew. Place the mixer bowl in the fridge along with the loins, egg and cream. When all chilled, place the loins in the mixer and blitz to a smooth paste. Slowly, add the cream and egg. Rub the mixture through a fine drum sieve and place in the fridge until needed. Chiffonade the tarragon and chop the peppercorns. Trim the livers, kidneys and hearts, place in a bowl with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the livers, kidneys and hearts in a hot non-stick pan then chill. Fold the peppercorns, tarragon and cooled offal through the rabbit farce mixture. Pipe into the hog casings and tie into 6cm long sausages. Set aside and cook for 20 minutes to order.
  6. For the pressed rabbit belly, salt the bellies for 30 minutes with the salt, torn tarragon leaves, chiffonade of bay, allspice and thyme. Wash off and pat dry. Place one belly on cling film, dust with protein glue, and place another belly on top, repeating until all the bellies are used. Vac pack, or wrap tightly in cling film, and leave in the fridge to set for 4 hours. Cook in the waterbath at 65°C/150°F with a little duck fat for 1½ hours. Take the duck fat out of the bath and keep aside. Alternatively, place the bellies into the duck fat with the rabbit legs and also cook in the oven at the same temperature for 1½ hours. Chill. Cut the cooked bellies into cubes and pané in flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs. Use the duck fat from cooking the bellies to deep fry the cubes at 180°C to order.
  7. For the braised snails, place the snails, onion, carrot, leek and bouquet garnis in a saucepan and cover with water. Braise on the stove for about 4 hours. Pick down the snails and chop finely.
  8. To finish the snails, finely chop the garlic. Foam the butter in a pan, add the garlic and, when fragrant, add the snails. Finish with a drop of water to emulsify and the parsley. Drain on kitchen paper.
  9. For the sprout tops, prep and wash the leaves. Make a butter emulsion for cooking them in.
  10. For the turnip purée, peel the turnips and wash well. Blanch in water. Finish cooking in milk and butter then season. Blitz to a smooth purée and pass through a chinois or fine sieve.
  11. For the carrot purée, peel the carrot and cut into small dice. Cook in water and butter until tender. Blitz to a smooth purée.
  12. For the pomme purée, cook the potatoes until very tender. Drain in a colander and season with salt. Pass through a moulis. Mix with the butter then pass through a drum sieve.
  13. For the baby turnips, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Prep then blanch in hot water. Place in an oven tray covered in the hay and thyme. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven.
  14. For the baby carrots, peel the carrots. Bring the water, chardonnay vinegar, sugar and coriander seeds to the boil. Drop in the carrots and cook them on a low heat until just tender.
  15. For the baby potatoes, scrub the potatoes and cook them with the thyme and bay leaf in water until just tender.
  16. To serve, melt the 100g clarified butter in a non-stick pan. Place the leg and banger in the pan and colour. Finish the baby carrots, turnips and potatoes in a butter emulsion. Cook the sprout tops. Heat the sauce. Warm the purées and place in squeezy bottles to plate up. Deep fry the belly and warm through the hodge podge crumble. Carve the legs and serve.
0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes