One of the things I like the most about being on holiday in the Greek Islands, is going out for dinner.
At the end of a long, hot day, and after a refreshing shower, it is a real pleasure to take a leisurely stroll along the sea front, enjoying the evening breeze, and taking your time to choose a restaurant.
The waiters often stand outside their establishments, and do their best to lure you in with enticing tales of fresh fish, traditional food, and chilled wine.
You will give in to one of them; it is impossible not to. Because you know that whichever restaurant you choose, the fish will indeed be fresh, the food traditional, and the wine oh-so-chilled.
On one such evening, a lovely restaurant owner in Kefalonia once convinced me to try Veal Stifado instead of the grilled fish I wanted. The way he talked about the dish simply made it impossible to refuse.
Boy, was I glad I had listened to him. To this day, it remains one of the best things I have ever eaten.
Sadly, veal is very much out of favour in the UK (although it is making a timid comeback), but thankfully rabbit is plentiful and would work equally well in this recipe.
Ask your butcher to separate the rabbit into 6 pieces, but make sure he/she twists the legs off, rather than chopping them off with a cleaver (this would produce very sharp bone shards).
You will need (for 4):
1 rabbit, divided into 6 pieces (see above)
A few spoonfuls of flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thyme (preferably fresh)
150g walnuts, chopped
250 ml white wine
200 ml chicken stock
150 g stoned black olives
Put the rabbit pieces in a bowl, and squeeze the lemons over the meat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3h.
Heat up the olive oil in a large, heavy pan with a lid. Pat the rabbit dry, season, flour and fry gently with the thyme until lightly browned. Add the walnuts, then the wine and a third of the stock.
Cover, and leave to simmer for about an hour. Top up the cooking liquid with a little meat stock from time to time.
About 20 min before serving, add the olives.
I serve this with wholewheat pasta, simply dressed with the cooking juices and some fried mushrooms.