Boro’s Bunny Parmo Fingers
Simon Whitehead shares his take on the classic north east dish from his roots, who doesn’t love a parmo?
- 8 Rabbit saddles (loins)
- Plain flour – for dredging
- 1 Egg – for dredging
- 1 splash Milk – for dredging
- Natural breadcrumbs
- 200 g Mature red Leicester or coloured Cheddar – grated
- Rape seed oil – for frying
- 55 g Butter
- 55 g Plain flour
- 1 pint Milk (568ml)
- Salt & pepper to season
- Remove the saddles from each rabbit and then remove the sinew.
- If stored in a fridge ensure that you take the meat out of the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature (at least half an hour).
Making the béchamel sauce
- Melt 25g butter in a saucepan and gradually sift in 25g of flour over a medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Once all the flour is added, the mixture should resemble a thick paste, and should come away from the sides of the pan as you stir.
- Cook like this over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
- Gradually add the milk a little at a time, while stirring. If it is a bit lumpy you could use a whisk instead.
- Cook for another 10-12 mins, constantly stirring.
- The sauce should reach the ribbon stage. Season to taste and then put it to one side and cover surface of sauce with baking parchment or cling film to avoid a skin forming.
For the rabbit
- Ensure any sinew has been removed and place on a chopping board under a sheet of cling film.
- Bash out each fillet with a tenderising mallet (or rolling pin), to an even thickness of about three quarters of an inch.
- First place the rabbit into the flour, then soak in the egg and then cover with breadcrumbs. Ensure that the coating is even all over then set aside.
- Repeat until all 8 are ready for frying.
- Add the rapeseed oil to a large frying pan to a depth of roughly 1 inch and heat.
- Once the oil reaches its optimal temperature, cook the rabbit (I got all 8 in a large pan) for approximately 2 minutes on each side, until the breadcrumbs have turned golden.
- Place the fillets into a preheated oven at 180C for 6-8 minutes to finish them off.
- All times are approximate due to fluctuation in size of rabbit loins. Make sure the rabbit is cooked through.
- Cover the rabbit with a generous layer of béchamel sauce.
- Sprinkle on the grated cheese and place back in the oven or under a grill until it has melted.
- Season to suit and serve with chips and salad or coleslaw.
Parmos are best accompanied by garlic or chilli sauce to dip in. Ketchup is often frowned upon but not by me. You can of course make a healthier version of this using low fat creme fraiche instead of calorific béchamel sauce, gluten-free breadcrumbs, and top it with a low-fat cheese. Enjoy!