I came across Rohan Anderson’s blog, Whole Larder Love one morning via Lucy’s Design Files. As I read through pages of the blog, I was happier and happier to have been introduced to it. I like to think of Rohan as a mix between Aidan (Sex and the City Season 4 Episode 9: Sex and the Country) and Davy Crockett (King of the Wild Frontier). Aidan refurbished his whole little cabin in Suffern by himself, and Davy Crockett…well he was king of the wild frontier. Rohan forages, hunts, fishes, and grows the food he and his family eat in the wild frontier of Victoria in Australia. This week I chose Rohan’s recipe of jamon wrapped rabbit roast with boozy asparagus because I think it is the perfect example of eating locally, seasonably and sustainably– something we definitely think and talk a lot about, but few of us get as close to our food as Rohan does to his. I don’t know how easy it is to find rabbit in the United States, but here in Italy it is very common. If you can’t find rabbit (or are put off by the idea), you can try this with another white meat. Just make sure you get your ham crispy! -Kristina
About Rohan: Rohan Anderson is a modern-day food warrior. He lives in an old 1880s schoolhouse in regional Australia (a few hours outside of Melbourne) and he is primarily concerned with how to live off the land and lead a semi-sufficient life to provide his family with fresh, local food. As a result, he hunts, fishes, forages and grows his own food, documenting his adventures and sharing his recipes and (sometimes contentious) views on his hugely popular blog, Whole Larder Love. His first book, also entitled Whole Larder Love, has just been released through powerHouse books.
See Rohan’s recipe after the jump…
Jamon Wrapped Rabbit roast with boozy Asparagus
Note: There are a few alterations to this meal, I tend to use my home cured jamon, but you can use store bought prosciutto. And you could also substitute the Roquefort for Gorgonzola, or any other blue cheese you prefer.
Ingredients (for two)
- Two Rabbit Back straps
- 4-6 slices (thick) Jamon
- Roquefort cheese
- Bunch of white asparagus (8 stalks)
- Fresh water cress
- Cinzano Vermouth
- Olive oil
- Cracked black pepper
- Place the two straps of rabbit together on a hard surface (bread board) and using a rolling pin, gently beat the meat until flattened and the two fillets have joined somewhat. Crack black pepper over the meat.
- Spoon over your desired amount of blue cheese to your taste, I’ll use a around three tablespoons.
- Roll the meat into a long sausage shape and then gentley wrap the jamon over the top.
- Use cooking string to tie up the roll to hold it together. Patience is paramount in this step (but its worth it)
- Pre heat the oven to 170C. Then heat a griddle pan on high, splash a little olive oil and sear the roll for a minute each side then place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the roll is roasting, trim the asparagus and blanch until softened (around 5 mins) then grill on the griddle pan with a splash of the cinzano (whact out this will flame A LOT) Cook off the alcohol and grill evenly.
- Place the asparagus on a serving plate, with a garnish of water cress.
- Remove the roll from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes. Slice and place on top of asparagus water cress bed.
- Serve with Sauvignon blanc
Why Rohan loves this recipe
I often get asked why I eat so much rabbit and there’s a simple answer, it’s always in season where I live! It just so happens that it’s a pretty delicious eating meat too, which helps me convert the non-believers, especially when I cook a dish like this. If you don’t like blue cheese, look away now, because when I say blue cheese I’m talking of good stuff, Roquefort. That’s what tips this meal over into the food lovers department. It’s a marriage of rich flavour, the jamon and cheese battle for supremacy. I’m not sure who wins, maybe just our taste buds! And to make the extreme flavours even more extreme and exciting I like to give a little flair to the greens, well in this case, the whites. I’ve been using white asparagus, it’s just as easy to grow as the green stuff but it tends to be a little chunkier, which makes me happy. More asparagus equates to happier cook. And using booze (in this case Cinzano Vermouth) adds to the sweetness of the asparagus, especially if it’s fresh from your garden.