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Trout and Rabbit Escabeche - Trucha y Conejo en Escabeche

Escabeches -- that is, pickled fish, poultry, game, or meat -- pop up all over Castile as an old-fashioned preserving method. But they have remained popular in the age of the freezer and fridge, partly because they taste so good and also because they are ideal instant but real food to make ahead of time. If you are planning to drink wine with an escabeche always use good wine vinegar, or a mixture of wine and vinegar, in the dressing. This recipe comes from El Lagar in Aranda de Duero, a hybrid restaurant, bar, and winemaking bodega, where the oak barrels for crianzas are kept in the cellars below. Its particular specialty is this plate of mixed escabeches, held together by the flavors of the pickle.


Makes 4 servings.

Prep Time: 30 min.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

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Ingredients:

2 whole trout, weighing approximately 1 lb
A little olive oil for frying
4 rabbit joints, weighing approximately 1 - 3/4 lb or 1 lb boneless chicken breasts or loin of pork
For the escabeche:
2 - 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 - 1/4 cups good quality sherry vinegar, or mixed wine and vinegar
2 glasses of water
Salt
1 large onion, skinned
4 whole garlic cloves, skinned
4 large sprigs of thyme
4 bay leaves
24 peppercorns

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Preparation:

Put all the escabeche ingredients into a flameproof casserole or pan (not aluminum). Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile fry the trout briefly in a little olive oil.

Decant half the escabeche into another pan and use to cook the rabbit or meat until just tender, testing it with the point of a knife. Remove from the heat, cover, and leave to cool. Meanwhile, simmer the trout very briefly for 3-4 minutes in the other pan, cover, and leave to cool. Leave the dishes in the fridge or a cool larder for a week for the flavors to develop. Serve flaked and shredded into small pieces together on salad leaves.


Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

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