Wild rabbit is lean, delicious and about as far from factory farmed meat as you can get. I’ve cooked these meatballs in the slow cooker very successfully without any pre-cooking. Surprisingly they didn’t end up as rabbit bolognese sauce. Chicken thigh meat would also work well in this recipe.
I’ve used other wild meat for these meatballs but if I use game shot with steel shot, such as duck breasts, I tend to mince the meat with a knife by hand in an attempt to remove the metal. Food processor blades don’t benefit from the experience of meeting steel shot at speed. Nor do our teeth. You can still process the other ingredients in the machine and mix them together in a bowl.
If you want to get more from your slow cooker, Joan Bishop’s New Zealand Crockpot and Slow Cookbook may help.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup (about 50g) ground almonds (almond meal)
Half an onion and one clove of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, tough stalks removed
one teaspoon each of ground paprika, fennel seeds, ground cinnamon,
salt and pepper
500g rabbit meat, chopped into roughly evenly sized pieces (the meat from one rabbit)
Good tomato sauce (home made or from a can/bottle) – about 400ml
Coat the inside of a slow cooker with olive oil and turn on low. Put the almonds, onion, garlic, parsley and seasonings in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the meat and egg and pulse a few times until well mixed but not so long that it’s a paste. Form into balls about the size of a walnut (in its shell). Pour about a third of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker. Place a layer of meatballs (about half) gently on top. Add another layer of sauce and meatballs and top with the remaining sauce.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Makes about 30 meatballs.