Rabbit in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet and sour sauce enhances the subtle flavour of rabbit and makes this dish, served with boiled rice, an ideal meal for an informal dinner.

1 X 4 lb. rabbit, cleaned and cut into serving pieces

4 tablespoons clear honey

4 fl. oz. soy sauce

2 teaspoons wine vinegar

2-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 medium-sized carrot, scraped and grated

1 medium-sized celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons soft brown sugar

2 fl. oz. vegetable oil

2 fl. oz. wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

16 fl. oz. pineapple juice

2 tablespoons cornflour dissolved in 4 11. oz. water

Dry the rabbit pieces thoroughly on kitchen paper towels. Using a kitchen knife, spread the honey over the rabbit pieces and place them in a large, shallow dish.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar and ginger and pour the mixture over the rabbit pieces. Place the dish in the refrigerator and set aside to marinate overnight.

Remove the rabbit pieces from the dish and discard the marinade.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the rabbit pieces and cook, turning them occasionally with tongs, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned.

Add the chives, carrot and celery and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the soy sauce, sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, salt, pepper and pineapple juice into a large saucepan. Set the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cornflour mixture.

Raclette, a cheese dish from Switzerland, is made by melting cheese and then scraping it on to serving dishes.

Increase the heat to moderate and bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook the sauce for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into the casserole.

Cover the casserole, reduce the heat to low and simmer the rabbit in the sauce for 1 to 1| hours or until the rabbit meat is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the heat and serve immediately.

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