“Remembering that the rabbit stew would need dumplings, and that Eliza would be starting on the puddings as soon as she arrived, Maggie went through to the storeroom to get the ingredients they would need.”
Maggie’s Kitchen, page 177
RABBIT (OR CHICKEN) STEW WITH HERB DUMPLINGS
Rabbit was a notable source of meat protein during the war and more available than traditional livestock, which had been sacrificed to make way for crops. Close in flavour and texture to chicken, it can be substituted now by its feathered friend.
Mix the flour and seasoning and coat the rabbit pieces. Heat dripping or butter and add bacon and rabbit. Cook until browned then remove from the pan. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook until soft, then return the rabbit and add stock, cider and tarragon. Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour, checking and adding more liquid as needed. Meanwhile, rub flour and butter with herbs, salt and pepper until they form a breadcrumb mixture, then add enough milk to bind it together. Knead until smooth and then divide into half, quarters and so on until you have 16 dumplings. Add dumplings to the stew after 1 hour and cook for another 30–40 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Serves 4–6.