As most of you know, our Nursery menu at Maggie & Rose is one of our biggest sources of pride. We believe that having an organic, sustainable, varied and healthy diet benefits children in immeasurable ways.
Encouraging children to try different foods and talk openly about what they are eating helps to build confidence and establish a great relationship between the little ones and their daily diets.
Additionally, exploring holistic elements of ingredients through sensory play contribute to a great attitude to food and eating allowing children to carry this relationship onward into their growing years.
We’d like to give you a peek into our food ethos and the motivation behind our Village Nursery Menu.
The great news about rabbit…
As the weather starts turning a bit colder (*sniff*), the Nursery menu will make the inevitable shift from zingy salads and summery fresh fruit to more wintery and rustic soups, stews and casseroles. These hearty autumnal dishes are a fantastic way for children to experience as many different types of grains, vegetables and meats as possible.
Embracing well-produced, healthy and sustainable meats is a cornerstone of the Maggie & Rose food philosophy, which is why we chose rabbit for this autumn menu. You just can’t find better meat than rabbit – it’s chocked full of protein and essential vitamins and minerals with hardly any saturated fat, as opposed to beef. Rabbit meat is also the most sustainable meat you can buy, producing six pounds of meat compared to one pound from a cow with the same amount of feed and water.
We know it can be a little confusing at times for little ones to hear the same word for food and for pets, but with encouragement and exploration, we believe it is as important to know where your food comes from, as it is to eat a variety of tasty and exciting dishes. Sustainable and delicious? We like the sound of that, bring on the Rabbit Stew!
Rustic Rabbit Stew (serves 8 toddlers)
- 1 x jointed whole rabbit or deboned rabbit pieces
- 3 x rashers smoked bacon, chopped finely (or 100g Pancetta)
- 2 x large onions, sliced
- 4 x carrots, chopped into batons
- 2 x celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 3 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 x bay leaves
- 750mL low-sodium beef or chicken stock
- 1 x tin butter beans
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Pre-heat oven to 150°C
- Heat up a sturdy ovenproof casserole dish on the stove over medium high heat. When it reaches a high temperature, add 1 tbsp of oil and brown the rabbit pieces quickly. Don’t worry about cooking the meat the whole way through, this is just to seal in the juices and caramelize the outside. When browned, remove from casserole dish and set aside.
- In the same pot, add another tbsp of oil and add the onions and bacon together until slightly golden.
- Add the carrots and celery to the pot followed by the chopped garlic and one mound tbsp of flour.
- Cook up everything for a couple of minutes, ensuring the flour is fully mixed and then re-add the cooked rabbit pieces followed by beef or chicken stock, Worcester sauce and bay leaves. Scrape all the goodness down from the sides and the bottom of the pan.
- The stew is now ready to go in the oven. Place lid on ovenproof dish and pop in pre-heated oven for two hours (or 2.5 hours, depending on your oven) while your house fills with a gorgeous autumnal smell.
- Lastly, add butter beans 10 minutes before finished cooking time.
- Serve the stew with mashed sweet potatoes and tender stem broccoli or fruity cous cous. (You could also stir in a bag of spinach before serving).
By Maggie & Rose, the place where childhood memories begin…