Makes about 1 pint
2 rabbits, cleaned
8 slices thick cut bacon
2 carrots, cut to a large dice
1 large onion, cut to a large dice
¼ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh thyme sprigs
¼ cup fresh oregano sprigs
½ teaspoon whole cloves
½ teaspoon whole juniper berries
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup brandy
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons clarified butter
1. Prepare and joint rabbits, cutting into quarters.
2. Place 4 slices of bacon in the base of a heavy-bottomed pan. Arrange rabbit pieces on top. Sprinkle in the roughly chopped vegetables and herbs. Add cloves, berries, allspice and nutmeg, plus remaining 4 slices of bacon. Pour in brandy and enough water to just reach the top of the vegetables. Simmer gently for 1 ½ hours or until rabbit meat separates easily from bones.
3. Strain and reserve the stock. Discard vegetables and leave meat to cool. Carefully remove rabbit from bones and shred finely into a bowl. Grind bacon into a fine paste using a pestle and mortar; add to rabbit. Mix in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons each of reserved stock and clarified butter; repeat until desired consistency (spreadable as you prefer) is achieved. Taste and add more seasonings, lemon juice, salt or pepper if needed.
4. Press into pint jar and pour on a little clarified butter to form a seal. Chill in refrigerator.
To serve: Spread on crostini or crackers