FOX - Blackberry Braised Rabbit with Turnip & Potatoes
Updated: Jan 19
I was stumped when trying to come up with a recipe for Fox McCloud - the Star Fox series doesn't have a lot to go off of when it comes to food. But, one of the stand-out aspects of Star Fox is its cast of anthropomorphic animals - so I thought it fitting to base this dish on the diet of real-life foxes! I narrowed it down to fresh berries and rabbit. Yeah… don’t tell Peppy Hare, but foxes eat rabbits in real life!
Fox has a rather Scottish surname, which inspired the flavour profile of this dish. I used the herbs and spices traditionally found in Scotland's famous (or infamous) dish, haggis! Coriander, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, mace... I also served the rabbit with the side dish traditionally served alongside haggis: potatoes and turnips, known in Scotland as “neeps and tatties.”
1 whole rabbit, portioned
1 cup shallots, thinly sliced
Potatoes and Turnips:
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb turnip (aka rutabaga or swede), peeled and cubed
½ cup whole milk or cream, warmed
⅓ cup butter, melted
3-5 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
1 tsp mustard powder
1 pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper
2 cup blackberries
¼ cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp mace
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1 tbsp butter
For potatoes and turnips:
Preheat oven to 325°.
Bring a salted pot of water to a boil, add cubed potatoes and turnip. Cook until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter and combine with hot milk. Whisk in garlic paste, mustard powder, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
When the potatoes and turnips are done, strain and return to the pot. Add melted butter mixture and roughly smash with a potato masher until smooth and creamy.
For blackberry sauce:
Mash the blackberries through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan, to separate the pulp and juice from the crunchy seeds. Discard the seeds.
Stir water into the saucepan and simmer over gentle heat. Add apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, coriander, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, celery salt, mace, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook medium heat until slightly reduced.
Melt butter in a large oven-proof skillet. Season rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, coat with blackberry sauce. Brown rabbit pieces in the skillet over medium heat, a few minutes on each side. Remove rabbit pieces and set aside.
Add shallots to the skillet and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes.
Return rabbit pieces to the skillet and pour the remaining berry sauce on top. Cover and braise in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until rabbit is fully cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes and turnips.
TOP TIER TIPS
Rabbit meat is a delicious source of protein that is healthier and more environmentally-friendly than most commercially produced meats. However, if cooking and eating rabbit makes you squeamish (or you simply cannot find rabbit in your area), you can make this exact dish with chicken instead! Buy a whole chicken and divide into legs, wings, breasts, and thighs – or make it with a bunch of chicken breasts or thighs depending on your preference.
Rabbit is usually sold whole, so you'll need to portion it out yourself. There are videos out there you can use as a reference - its easier than it looks!