Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Comlek, Albania, Olympic Food Challenge

I didn't do the cooking for this one, I was on a train missing out on medal after medal after medal that our glorious nation have been winning. So instead I handed over this recipe tot he OH to get on with.
Albania a country in Southwest Europe and although not somewhere I would automatically think to go and visit, it did achieve number one destination in Lonely Planet's top ten countries to visit in 2011. A member of the IOC since 1958 and unfortunately do not have a single medal to their name.

The recipe I found for Albania, which is one of the first I found when the challenge was created, is Comlek or rabbit casserole with onions and wine vinegar and because I don't eat much rabbit, as tasty as it is, I decided to stick with this recipe. Apologies if you are squeamish about eating/cooking rabbit, they were food before they were pets you know.


1 rabbit 750g cut in pieces
4 medium-sized tomatoes or 2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
150 ml olive oil
1 tsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, whole
300 ml hot water
small piece cinnamon stick
salt & black pepper
4 whole allspice berries
700 g small onions
1 sprig of rosemary
1 small glass of dry red wine

1. Marinate rabbit in vinegar and bay leaves overnight in the fridge or a couple of hours before cooking it. 
2. Remove rabbit pieces from marinade, pat them dry and fry them in half the olive oil until golden-brown on both sides.
3. When all rabbit pieces have been fried, place them back in the saucepan. Add garlic cloves, bay leaves, spices, rosemary and wine.
4. Then add the tomato puree or tomatoes, sugar and the hot water. Season, cover and cook for about 1 hour. 
5. In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions. Stir them occasionally, in order to make sure they turn golden all over, for about 15 minutes. 
6. Add the contents of the frying pan to the saucepan, and shake it so that the onions spread evenly. Then cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Oh so very delicious. Rabbit is very fiddly to eat but worth it when it just falls off the bone with this recipe. The sauce would be even better if it was slow cooked for another hour or so. The recipe did state to serve with rice and a green salad but sod it, I served it with fluffy mash which soaked up the sauce perfectly.



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