The dish was created for the last Tuscan night at the Pot Kiln and was a roaring success. It is melt in the mouth tender and worth every bit of effort to make it. This is a dish for when you have time to get stuck in. It can be made in advance and finished in the oven when you are ready for it.
Ingredients (Serves 8)
4 Wild Rabbits, offal removed and jointed up
1 Onion, diced
Duck or Goose fat to cover
8 Rosemary Sprigs
4 Garlic Bulbs, cut in half across the equator (skin on)
4 Leeks, cut down through the middle then sliced into half moons
Fresh Lasagne Sheets (buy more than you think you need, you can freeze what you don't use)
For the Sauce:
100g of Butter
3 Tbsp of Plain Flour
½ Pint of Full Fat Milk
1 Bay Leaf
200g of Parmesan (24 month aged parmesan has the best flavour)
Salt & Pepper
Put the rabbit joints into a large dish and cover with the fat. Push in the rosemary and cover with grease-proof paper so it touches the fat. Put on a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours until meltingly tender. At the same time, put the garlic bulbs into aluminium foil parcels, drizzle with a little olive oil and scrunch them up so they are sealed. Cook for 1 hour in the oven. Gently sauté the leeks in butter until they are soft but not coloured. Cool.
Make the béchamel sauce by heating the milk with a bay leaf and the onion skinned and studded with the cloves. Add a few whole black peppercorns. Melt the butter and stir in the flour, then cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat, stirring to prevent burning. Slowly add the milk through a sieve and stirring to combine. When all the milk has been added check the consistency. It should be runny enough to pour but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If too thick, add more milk until correct. Grate half the parmesan into the sauce. Cool with greaseproof touching the top to prevent a skin forming.
When rabbit has cooled slightly, pick all the meat off the bones and discard the bones. Tear the meat into bite-sized pieces and mix through the two thirds of the sauce with the leeks. Squeeze the flesh from the garlic bulbs into a bowl and squash slightly before adding to the sauce as well. Season well.
In your lasagne dish, start layering the meat with the pasta sheets, starting with the meat and finishing with a layer of pasta. Spread the remaining white sauce over the top and grate the remaining parmesan over the top. When ready to cook, put in pre-heated oven at 180c for 20 mins or until bubbling and golden. Serve with fresh salad leaves.