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Recipe Living Room

Every issue, the region's top chefs share their culinary secrets with a recipe for you to try at home

Paul Holmes is the head chef at The Living Room on Greek Street, where he has worked since 2005. He lives in Horsforth with his fiance Emma. Paul has been working in kitchens around the UK since he was 16 years old and cooking is his passion. Paul’s personal favourite food to eat is a Sunday roast dinner.

Rabbit legs braised in Yorkshire ale, pearl barley and pancetta wrapped rabbit fillet
Serves 4
2 whole rabbits
500ml bottle of Black Sheep ale
4 slices pancetta
120g pearl barley
50g plain flour
1 onion, 2cm diced
2 carrots, 2cm diced
½ leek, 2cm rounds
2 celery sticks, 2cm rounds
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, picked and chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, picked and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for frying

Remove the limbs from the rabbit by cutting around the shape of the muscle and through the joint, set these aside. Cut through the back bone just below the ribs, by doing this you will expose the end of the fillet which you need to remove by cutting done the spine and gently easing the fillet meat out by running the knife underneath it. A good butcher will do this preparation for you.

Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat. In a mixing bowl add the rabbit legs, flour and seasoning and toss together to coat the legs. Add a splash of oil to the pan and shake the excess flour from half the rabbit and fry on both sides until golden. Put this into a tray or ovenproof dish and then fry the rest of the rabbit.

Once the rabbit is all fried add the onion, carrot, leek, celery, to the pan and cook for two to three minutes then add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves and cook for a further two minutes. Using a spoon loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan. Once the vegetable mix is cooked add the bottle of ale and bring to the boil.

Pour all of this mixture over the rabbit legs and cover with greaseproof paper and foil sealing the edges. Place the tray in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for two hours.

20 minutes before the rabbit is ready, bring 150ml of water to the boil with the veg stock cube crumbled in. When it boils, add the pearl barley and reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the barley is tender.

Take the rabbit fillets and season with only pepper, wrap each one in a strip of pancetta. Fry for two minutes on each side until cooked through.

Once the rabbit is ready, remove each leg and cover to keep warm. Check the seasoning of the liquor and adjust if necessary. Strain the cooking liquor from the vegetables. Divide the pearl barley, cooked vegetables and rabbit legs onto the plates, spoon over some of the cooking liquor and slice the wrapped fillet and sit on top.

Posted on Wednesday 4th February 2009

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