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-This is the Great British Food Revival.
-We are flying the flag and campaigning.
To save some of our truly unique...
Ooh, it's cold!
Many are teetering on the brink of survival.
We need you to help us.
To resurrect these classic heritage ingredients.
I'm loving it. I could stay out here all day.
Join us now before it's too late.
-Can you give us a whoop?
Some things are really worth fighting for.
I'm Gregg Wallace and I've come north of the border to champion
a fantastic fruit that loves its Scottish home.
Once it's picked it's got to be eaten almost immediately.
I mean, it is so fragile.
It is the softest of soft fruits.
It's a precious jewel in the British crown.
I'm here to champion the one, the only,
the delicious British raspberry.
'On my journey, some fruity surprises.'
Yorkshire puddings were not traditionally
eaten with the roast beef.
I'm going to take some convincing. Raspberries on Yorkshire pudding.
'I come face to face with an enemy
'that threatens the raspberry's survival.'
We've got maybe 50 or 60 acres this year
that I think will be coming out because of it.
It's just a disaster.
'And in the kitchen I go deliciously retro.'
You can't get flavours that taste as good as this.
That, my friends, is the beauty of our British raspberries.
Do you know, there is something about a raspberry
that I simply cannot resist.
That conical, deep ruby red berry. So soft.
Slight bit of sharpness which just enhances the sweetness.
They're beautiful and I love 'em.
You probably think that the British raspberry doesn't needs reviving.
That we probably eat them all the time like strawberries. Do we?
The raspberry is considered Scotland's national berry,
so at the Royal Highland Show I'm expecting to find a patriotic passion for the raspberry.
-What's your favourite berry?
I think the raspberry sometimes gets a bit forgotten about actually.
I like it in a smoothie and things like that,
but I don't often eat a raspberry on its own.
Raspberries are sometimes a bit more expensive and you don't
get as many so I'll probably go for strawberries because of that.
Strawberries and blueberries have become such all-year-round fruits
that raspberries are being forgotten.
On average each of us buys six punnets of raspberries a year.
Only six! I tell you that's madness. You are massively missing out.
I simply cannot imagine a life without
raspberries in my desserts or as a glaze or a sauce for savoury dishes.
Let alone a nice cream tea like this. Look at that.
Now I'm on a mission to convince you to buy more raspberries
because, believe it or not, the British raspberry needs our help.
In the past 20 years the UK has lost over 50% of its raspberry fields
but with the help of polytunnels production is on the up again.
In East Scotland raspberry farming is big business and has been for
a long time, as this area is perfect for growing these delicate berries.
Here in the Howe of Strathmore the raspberries are actually
protected by a microclimate.
This area has lower than the average amount of rainfall
although you wouldn't believe it, would you?
'Over 100 years ago, a local solicitor, James Mackenzie Hodge,
'inspired the Scottish raspberry boom.'
'Pat McCarthy was a picker in the 1950s.
'Andrew is James Mackenzie Hodge's grandson,
'and like him is also a solicitor.
'But in the 1890s his grandfather had a flash of foresight
'and spotted a business opportunity just lurking in the hedgerows.'
Wow. Someone's been making a serious study.
My grandfather really got the industry going in this community.
100 years ago, I think it would be difficult to find
a field that didn't have raspberries growing in it.
I mean, it just mushroomed.
His brains, I think, allowed success to be enjoyed
by a lot of people.
'He persuaded local farmers to turn their fields of oats
'into fields of raspberries
'and organised them so that they could trade effectively.
'They started selling their fruit to the growing jam market.'
Now, this is a scrapbook and it gives an idea of freight.
Look at this tonnage of jam. 1,314 tonnes of jam in 1911.
1910, 1,659 tonnes.
That's fruit going to the market for jam.
That's just fruit?
That is the net weight of raspberries in a year?
Leaving this Blairgowrie station.
That's a serious amount, I don't think there's anybody
that could envisage that amount of raspberry.
People picked about 40 pounds a day, didn't they, Andrew?
Crikey! And they're all hand picked? Not machine picked?
There must have been an army.
There was an army.
Of pickers scattered from here to...
Oh, there was. The likes of Tin City was still in existence.
What's Tin City?
Tin City is here.
This was built in the early 1900s.
It was very large-scale dormitories.
A whole makeshift community sprung up during the picking season.
48 dormitories each sleeping 20 pickers.
A little town with its own shops, doctors and police.
Many of the pickers were working-class Glaswegians.
They would enjoy a holiday in the countryside as well as earn a wage.
But the farmers also employed locals like Pat.
There's a photograph here, there's one of me.
There. That's me with the bow in my hair.
I started at five.
Did you enjoy it?
Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
If it was a day like you've had today, with the rain,
it wasn't pleasant, because the rain would come up
and you'd have cuts from the bushes, you know?
So you'd be covered in scratches
and that just went in, and it stang like nothing on earth.
I mean, it was sore.
I can't eat a raspberry to this day. I've picked too many.
What brought about the decline of the raspberry business?
Pickers were always a problem.
People didn't come for their holidays to Blairgowrie,
and indeed some of the pickers now were
replaced by Eastern European pickers who came in.
But I think just a general decline in the market for jam.
'In the 1980s, fierce competition from Eastern Europe and cheap
'imported raspberries forced down prices in the jam market.
'So Andrew's father called time on his once thriving business.'
What remains of this Tin City?
Well, we should go out and see now.
'Where there was once a bustling community of over 1,000 people,
'now there are only fields.'
Over there would be the buildings that were Tin City
and all that remains is that one building,
converted into a garage for that bungalow.
You would have had fields of berries on either side
and when Tin City was in its heyday I think there would be a buzz.
There would be a great noise of people and a buzz.
You sound sad for the change.
I just remember how it was,
and coming out with my father as a boy and meeting smallholders,
and smelling the fruit, and seeing the pickers,
and I'm just aware that time has now passed for ever, never to return.
So, yes, I'm sad to that extent.
But you've got mixed feelings about the picking, haven't you?
Well, I picked on days like this when it was miserable.
If you could turn back time and have all the raspberries back, would you?
See, me and Andrew have a bit of romance in our soul. You know why?
Because we never had to pick any of them.
'Tin City and Andrew's family fruit business may have gone
'but their legacy continues in today's Scottish raspberries.
'To kick off my revival, in the kitchen I've got a raspberry dish
'that will do Scotland and Pat proud.'
My first recipe is crispy cheese with a raspberry sauce.
I'm obviously using a British cheese.
It's a Tunworth, which is a cow's-milk cheese, and it's creamy
and it's a perfect foil for those raspberries.
Three processes to getting our cheese crispy.
We're going to go in flour, beaten egg, then breadcrumbs.
I was amazed by the sheer scale
of raspberry farming up there in Scotland.
Whole towns were built around raspberry production.
I mean, that's quite incredible.
It's like boomtowns of the Midwest in the 19th century.
Right, the raspberries in there, OK. With some sugar.
I have got a really sweet tooth, as you know.
I put quite a bit of sugar in.
I'm going to add some lemon juice. A little bit of sharpness.
Simmer for a few minutes until the raspberries break down,
and then sieve,
so you're left with just the smooth, sweet, sticky sauce.
I'm a passionate cook.
I do big dishes and I do big flavours,
and this is the sort of food I really love.
I'm going to heat some rapeseed oil in here.
I much prefer rapeseed oil now to olive oil.
It's a British product.
It actually can cook at a really high temperature as well,
and it hasn't got much of a flavour, which is what you want.
You want the flavour of the raspberry and cheese
to come out, not the oil.
Raspberries have been a favourite of mine since I was a kid.
I was really lucky in that I lived in the same house
as my grandparents and I went shopping with them up Rye Lane, Peckham, every week.
When the first of the raspberries came into the shops,
I was just drawn to them.
They weren't in the little plastic boxes we get now.
They used to be in open, green cardboard punnets,
and that bright red against the green plastic grass
the greengrocers use was just so vivid and so bright.
I was drawn to them like they were lollies, you know?
Really beautiful. Right!
When the oil's good and hot, pop in the cheese.
Gently, gently, because I don't want them to colour too much.
If you toss them about a bit too much in this oil as well,
you're in danger of taking your crispy coating off.
Can you see the colours turning golden?
Ow! Look at those.
Whoa, they are fabulous.
I'm putting it with a little salad. A little drizzle of that dressing.
And rather than having any leftovers
I'm using the rest of the sauce for dunking.
There you go.
Crispy cheese. Raspberry sauce.
Trendy little homemade salad.
Right, this is all about proving the versatility of those
Right. Who could resist that?
That's a fantastic example of how fruit can be used in a savoury dish.
The sweet sharpness of that raspberry is a perfect trailfinder
for the salty tanginess that comes after.
Cheese and raspberry. Who would have believed it until now?
Raspberries may be delicious but they are not easy to grow.
They are demanding,
they are temperamental and they are high-maintenance.
If you're a raspberry grower, let me tell you, it is a labour of love.
A few miles from Blairgowrie is a young farmer who has that passion.
You can spot the raspberry farms around here, can't you,
with the polytunnels?
'Rowan Marshall is a third generation producer and he knows
'all about the difficulties of growing the innocent-looking fruit.'
How many people are employed in the business?
Full-time all year round 30,
and then at picking time we'll go up to about 350.
'So Rowan grows raspberries on just 15% of his land,
'but raspberries take up to 95% of his workforce.'
We've got people working in fields, in rasps,
every day bar two weeks at Christmas.
It's very, very labour-intensive.
I had absolutely no idea it was that labour-intensive.
-Do you want to come and see them?
-Have you got picking going on?
-Yep, yep. Just down here.
'Rowan has to wait two years for a plant to mature and start fruiting.
'Even then it only fruits for about seven weeks a year,
'and the plant doesn't last forever.'
So, two years, they do nothing at all.
-They don't give any fruit at all?
-And then they only give fruit for three years?
-For crying out loud.
-It's quite an intensive system.
Traditionally, most UK raspberries were processed into jam,
but in recent years the UK market has been undercut
by Eastern European growers.
So farmers like Rowan have started concentrating
on the more time-consuming and risky fresh-fruit trade.
But to make their money they need a perfect and carefully picked berry.
This is simple, right? You just take the ripe ones and pull 'em out.
Yep. We've got punnets here for your good berries, which are fresh.
They need to be nice and pink.
I'm leaving a lot of raspberry on the...
That berry will go for processing, because it's not a nice whole berry.
These are the nice whole ones
for the fresh market, and they're a bit pink,
so they've got a bit of time to travel down to their destination.
A three-day shelf life. Before they even get to the supermarket.
'It's a delicate fruit to risk your business on
'and when it comes to picking
'you obviously need a safer pair of hands than mine.'
-That's good enough to go to a whole berry, isn't it?
-Yep. That's fine.
I won't show you the bit where I ripped it there.
That has to go for processing, then.
-This explains to me why raspberries are a bit more expensive.
Because they've got to be a certain shape,
a certain colour and, of course, there's an army of pickers.
But it's not just the demands of the berry
that blights the life of a raspberry farmer.
They also have to contend with a destructive enemy
lurking within the soil.
From what I understand, raspberry production has been declining.
Like, the heyday was in the 1980s.
Yeah, it certainly was, yeah.
The big problem is phytophthora, which is root rot,
and it's a disease in the soil.
What does phytophthora do?
It kills the roots and the whole rasp dies off,
and it spreads in the water, and it moves up the rail.
You end up with a big hole in a nice field and it grows year on year.
There are farms that don't grow rasps anymore.
Within five miles of here there used to be at least six.
It's in their soil and there's nothing they can do.
So it's a serious plague that just spread like wildfire?
Yeah, very much so.
'Root rot has had a devastating effect on raspberry farmers.
'Three out of every five of Rowan's raspberry fields
'have disappeared in the last few years.'
We've got maybe 56 acres this year that I think
will be coming out because of it.
It's just a disaster.
And what will you do?
Look for a new variety, and we're doing a lot of work
looking for new varieties, but there's no cure just now.
'But all is not lost.
'There may still be hope for the British raspberry farmer.'
What they need is a good, strong, healthy, disease-resistant
raspberry plant and they are looking to science for the answer.
I'm just outside Dundee at the James Hutton Institute,
Europe's largest centre for environment and crop research.
'Nigel Kirby is working with farmers like Rowan
'on the next generation of raspberries.'
This ground is contaminated with the fungus
that causes raspberry root rot.
Here we are, as part of our selection process of trying to develop
varieties that are resistant to raspberry root rot.
Here we've got five plant plots and you can see there's no new cane,
or very little new cane coming up.
However this is one of our new varieties here,
which is out on commercial trials and you can see how well it's doing.
That's amazing. That is really, really good news.
So all we need this to do now is fruit like a maniac?
Fruit like a maniac, and taste good as well.
It can take 15 years to develop a new variety
but they're working on that too.
We've got some new tools of how we use genetics and molecular markers.
Rather then putting something in a field and waiting to see
whether it's going to survive,
we're going to have, like, genetic finger printing
and be able to make a finger print to see whether
it's got the resistance built in, and that will speed up the process.
'The scientists have already knocked five years off the time
'it takes to develop a new variety.
'A root-rot-resistant raspberry
'could well be just around the corner.
'But we all need to do our bit for the raspberry farmer too.'
Look, it's just as easy to pop a raspberry into your mouth
as it is a blueberry.
Do not get sidetracked.
Buy raspberries, and Scotland will say a great big thank you.
I'm doing my bit for the raspberry's fortunes.
I'm teaming it up with one of my favourite meats.
The two things I love most in the world, apart from my children,
are raspberries, as you've discovered, and roast lamb.
So what I'm going to give you now is raspberry-marinated rack of lamb.
I've chosen the raspberries with the lamb,
because lamb's meat has actually got natural sweetness,
and that raspberry enhances the sweetness of that lamb.
It heightens the flavour.
And if you think what we traditionally serve with
roast lamb is mint sauce, that is like the raspberry.
It's sharp and it's sweet.
Right, let's get this underway. Marinade first.
Start with vegetable stock, red wine vinegar then red wine.
I'm also using in this marinade raspberry jam. I want sweetness.
You know, chatting with Rowan, and actually seeing the love
and care and the difficulty of growing these beauties,
makes me completely re-evaluate them.
Somebody really treasures these.
Not as much as me.
Oh! Cheers, Rowan!
Once the marinade is smooth, quickly brown your lamb
just to give it a bit of colour.
I coach rugby, and if you stand out on a cold rugby pitch
for a couple of hours on a Sunday, come home,
and you smell lamb cooking with rosemary and raspberries,
it's enough to send me absolutely delirious.
I just cannot resist it.
Look at that. That is a thing of absolute beauty.
Once browned, take the lamb out the pan
and prod it all over with a fork.
I'm stabbing this, because we want that raspberry flavour
to get in there and enhance the sweetness of this meat.
Pour the marinade over the lamb.
In the fridge for 12-24 hours.
A raspberry-seeped bit of lamb.
Look at the colour of the meat now.
And then put this beautiful,
raspberry-flavour-infused beasty in the oven.
While your lamb is cooking, simmer your marinade
to reduce and thicken it.
That is just concentrated raspberry flavour
sharpened with a little bit of wine,
a little bit of vinegar.
The reduced marinade is now the perfect sauce to go with your lamb.
Rack of lamb, marinated in raspberries and raspberry sauce.
Look at that.
Look, look, look.
The pink lamb against the pink of the sauce, the raspberries.
Sweetness, and the sharpness you get from the natural fruit
that is the glorious raspberry.
Wonderful flavour to go with that beautiful sweet, moist lamb. Oh!
So you must all be getting the raspberry message by now.
But I've got yet another treat in store.
I've heard of a man in Perthshire who is a real raspberry innovator.
Welcome to Scotland.
'David Burberry has had a long love affair with the raspberry.
'Originally a farmer, he was also a bit of a pioneer.'
I was actually the first person
to start growing protected fruit in Scotland.
That's in polythene tunnels, and I started in 1990.
This is now the way that most people grow soft fruit
but I was the first to do it.
But when he saw tough times ahead he left farming,
and was soon producing raspberry award-winning products.
The raspberry vinegar proved a real winner.
What do you put its success down to?
I think it's got a really nice balance.
It's got this delicacy of the raspberry flavour,
and that seems to work well with vinegar and, of course,
a vinegar then cuts through an oil in the sense of making a dressing.
I think that's really the essence of it.
'It all begins with a pot and some raspberries.'
That smell is delightful.
'First David cooks down the raspberries and then strains them.'
We're now going to add it back into the pot.
A set amount, according to my recipe, Gregg, which I'm not
necessarily going to tell you this afternoon.
'I can see that David's secret recipe does include sugar and vinegars.'
The exact proportions of that I'm keeping top-secret,
as you can see.
It's not really that secret.
You've got a measuring jug in a pan.
You don't have to be the great Sherlock Holmes himself.
I was hoping you wouldn't notice that, Gregg.
-But thanks anyway.
-I'll put the lid on.
How many different goes at it did you have until you perfected it?
Well, I think it was more my wife who had a lot of different
goes at it, and she was the one that got it right.
And I've rather stuck to what she learnt along that process.
Your wife had lots of goes at it, and she got it right.
I've had a go at lots of wives and never got it right.
-There's a certain irony there, you understand?
What else could you use it for apart from a dressing?
I've got some different things for you to try it with over here.
We've got Yorkshire puddings.
If we're doing a raspberry tasting, why have I got a Yorkshire pudding?
Yorkshire puddings were not traditionally eaten
with the roast beef for your Sunday lunch.
They were actually a dessert, and because they were cooked in dripping
raspberry vinegar worked very well with them.
-Because the vinegar is sharp and cuts through the fat.
I'm going to take some convincing. Raspberries on Yorkshire pudding.
Do you think that worked?
-That's amazing. Delicious.
'To wash it down, David suggests a spritzer.'
So now I'm going to drink vinegar and water?
What next? Am I going to inhale it?
We're not going to inhale it.
Gregg, let me give you that.
-That is better than you'd think, isn't it?
That is yum! But, mate, that is screaming out for a shot of vodka.
'Crikey. The raspberry is just so, well, adaptable.
'And then David starts putting it on ice cream.'
Oh, mate. Heaven.
I've never really been a fan of taking something as beautiful as a raspberry
and messing around with it, but when you can enhance it and make something
very, very different without spoiling it, I think that's something quite special.
It's been a mad raspberry adventure, and to finish up
I'm going to do what I do best and indulge my very sweet tooth.
Up to now I've just been really keen to show you different ways
to use raspberries, but right now I'm going to use them
in their best-ever way, which is dessert.
I'm about to make you an amazing raspberry pavlova.
Let me show you something. All of us are in love with
the deep red of the raspberry, but look at these little beauties.
The yellow raspberry. They taste exactly the same. Just as sweet.
The yellow raspberry is cultivated to just give a point of difference.
For chefs or cooks that want to create something special.
Something very pretty.
The first thing we're going to make for our raspberry pavlova is actually the coulis.
Simply cook down the raspberries
with some icing sugar in their own juices.
No liquid added to that at all.
That is purely coming out of these wonderful fruits.
We're going to add cream to our meringue, our pavlova
when we've made it.
We want the coulis cold. We don't want it cooking the cream.
Stick it in the fridge.
For your meringue base, whisk four egg whites
and slowly add caster sugar, and then a splash of vanilla essence.
I was thinking about David and that extraordinary raspberry vinegar.
You know, that's just another example of how versatile
raspberries are, the way he's bottled that sharp sweetness
and the way it can be used in so many ways.
That is the essence of the British raspberry.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. See?
That's how stiff it is.
Draw yourself a circle on parchment, OK,
and then spread it out to the edges of your circle.
Meringue and raspberries is a wonderful classic combination,
because the meringue is so sweet and the raspberries are so sharp
and they just counter each other brilliantly.
This is one of my favourite desserts in the world to make.
Cook the meringue on a low heat until crisp on the outside
and soft on the inside, and allow to cool.
That's what it should finish like. Now, careful.
Because this is so delicate that, when you move it, it will crack.
Then cover with whipped cream and decorate with fresh raspberries.
I know at home you just want to dip your spoons in, don't you?
I could. I could just take my shirt off and dive straight into this.
We are going to place them beautifully around the outside.
Can I urge you, please don't wash your raspberries.
They are far, far too delicate to be scrubbed or soaked with water.
All right? Don't wash them at all. Ever.
I've been dealing with fruit and veg since the mid '80s.
I had my own first ever fruit and veg firm in October '89.
Gregg the Veg, the London chefs know me as.
And I've always taken great pride in getting the best produce I can
out to the chefs.
This is why I've got so much empathy with these producers,
who have real passion, real desire to get the best possible fruit
out to our shops.
I understand that. Truly understand that.
Now we're going to finish this with our beautifully chilled,
sweet and fruit coulis.
Look at that, look.
While I know I might not win any Michelin stars with this,
this is 100% pure raspberry indulgence.
Look at that.
I give you the British raspberry pavlova.
Get your spoons out.
Look at that. Ah! Ah!
Come on, have you ever seen anything as beautiful?
Look. The British raspberry shown off to its absolute best.
That is beyond words.
You can't get flavours that taste as good as this.
That, my friends, is the beauty of our British raspberries.
Absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind.
The best raspberries in the world are ours. The British raspberry.
Come on, Britain!
Get yourself an extra helping of this unique divine fruit,
the British raspberry.
Next up, another impassioned chef
fighting to revive a classic British ingredient.
Last series, I told you about the glories of the great British garlic,
and, boy, did you rise to the occasion.
But this time I've really got my work cut out.
The truth is that this particular ingredient has been
hopping in and out of our pots for hundreds of years.
Although nowadays it's more thought of as a cuddly pet.
I'm determined to put rabbit back into your cooking pots
and when have I, Clarissa Dickson Wright, ever seen you wrong?
'During World War II, the British bunny helped feed a whole nation
'but nowadays we recoil at the mere thought of it.
'In the UK, wild rabbits wreak havoc on our farmland
'and have to be controlled.
'I want to get those rabbits back onto our plates,
'and to convince you I'll be challenging your misconceptions.'
All right. You don't have to look at it.
Put it away. It's such a shame.
'Taking my crusade to the next generation.'
Students of Ruskin University, come to the refectory
and try our delicious rabbit Wellingtons
and rabbit sausage rolls.
'And in the revival kitchen
'I'll be proving that nothing tastes better than rabbit.'
I don't think we have anything one half as good as that these days.
I was born just after World War II,
and during the Second World War rabbit was one of the staples.
The first time I remember eating rabbit was the occasion
when my brother and I ferreted one and I took it home so proudly
and we ate it, and it just tasted wonderful.
I have been cooking with rabbit all my life, and I absolutely love it.
Up until the 1950s, rabbit was a British staple
and as familiar as pork and beef.
But in 1953 everything changed,
when myxomatosis, a devastating virus,
wiped out 99% of Britain's wild rabbits.
Even though myxomatosis is no longer a widespread threat,
and rabbits are readily available, you're still not buying it.
And I'm determined to find out why that is,
and why you've given up eating it.
'In the past, it was common to buy your rabbit in the market
'and carry it home for that night's supper.'
-Do you eat rabbit?
Why don't you eat it any more?
Nowadays, it has a very bad record.
-What? Since the myxo?
-All right, you don't have to look at it.
-Take it away. It's such a shame.
-It's an animal. It's a soul.
It's a living being.
Well, I wouldn't mind if somebody ate me.
I couldn't possibly. Oh, no. Ah, it's such a shame. I can't look.
-I wouldn't eat rabbit now, because it seems awful to eat it now.
I don't know. I just don't.
When I was a little girl, it was something you ate
and didn't ask questions about.
The opinion I'm finding is that people are getting awfully squeamish in this day and age.
But I think that people of my generation have probably been put off by the myxo.
'Maybe it's time to canvass the younger generation.'
-Would you eat it if you had the opportunity?
-Yeah, I would.
-I've eaten it before, I think.
Excellent. There you are. Well, you'll have to cook it for him.
I've never been served it, but I don't think I would eat it
if I were served it.
Is it the sort of fluffy bunny image that stops you eating it?
You know, "I wouldn't eat a household pet"?
That would definitely be the reason for my initial reaction.
As I suspected,
most people just are overly sentimental and soppy,
and think of rabbits as sweet little pets
and have never even tried eating them.
'We need to get over these ridiculous prejudices about eating
'this wonderfully tasty meat.
'So I'm going to start by showing you how easy it is to cook with,
'and aren't you in for a treat?'
For this dish, I'm going to make a rabbit casserole.
This recipe will cost you about £5 and will easily feed a whole family.
I guarantee even your novice cook out there
will have no trouble making it.
So even if you're just a rabbit virgin
this is a very good place to start.
It's almost impossible to go wrong.
I'm using a whole rabbit, which you can
get from your butcher's for as little as £1, an absolute bargain.
If you're one of those people who goes on about wild and free
and eating organically, you don't get much better than rabbit.
I'm just going to show you how to joint a rabbit
because this is something you will need to know
because this is how you will buy your rabbit
from a butcher's or a market stall.
You want to take the legs off,
and it's a bit like cutting a chicken into joints.
The idea of jointing a rabbit puts a lot of people off,
but it's very straightforward.
No worse than dealing with a chicken.
Now, you want to cut through what is the loin of the rabbit.
The loin is the equivalent of a breast on a chicken.
It's not as plump, but, believe me, it's far more delicious.
That's probably the best bit of the rabbit.
And then you're left with the saddle and you just want to cut it across.
If you think this looks grisly,
all I can say to you really is, don't be so ridiculous.
You know, if you're going to eat it, you ought to be able to cut it up.
Isn't that easy?
Once I have my cuts, I'm ready to prepare my casserole.
Rabbit doesn't have a huge amount of intrinsic flavour.
People are nervous of rabbit
because they're afraid that it'll taste too gamey.
In fact, rather like chicken, it needs flavours adding to it.
So I'm going to marinate the rabbit pieces now.
I'm using a good splash of white wine,
some olive oil and lemon juice, garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary
and a few bay leaves and, finally, some chopped onion and celery.
I'm just going to mix it around so that it all has a chance to mellow.
It then goes into the fridge overnight, allowing the wonderful
fresh flavours to work their magic.
This one's already prepped.
Now, there's a lovely smell from this marinade.
The smell of the herbs, the lemon juice, the wine.
I take out and dry off the rabbit
before dusting it in seasoned flour.
You can add a bit of dried mustard if you want, or cayenne pepper.
Anything you feel like, really.
Then gently fry the meat until golden brown to seal in the flavours
before adding the remainder of the marinade and the seasoning.
It's smelling absolutely lovely.
I'm just going to put this in the oven now for an hour
or possibly more.
Once it's ready, a gastronomic family feast awaits.
Am I not a woman of my word?
Perfect, and what could be simpler than that?
Now, don't tell me you can't cook this.
My wonderfully warming and scrumptious rabbit casserole.
If you've ever believed me before, believe me now.
Rabbit is what you want to eat.
We might be able to buy rabbit for £1,
but centuries ago it was a food only the wealthy could enjoy.
I've come to Thetford Priory to meet Tom Williamson,
a professor of history,
to learn more about the pedigree of the rabbit.
-Welcome to sunny Norfolk.
-I know, bliss, isn't it?
Sitting on a rather hard flint wall with you under a brolly.
What could be better in life, really?
So why are we sitting here in the rain
in the remains of this magnificent priory?
We are here because the Prior of Thetford was one of the big
ecclesiastical land owners, who had a large warren
on the surrounding heaths, on the neighbouring heaths.
'Thetford Priory was home to the Benedictine Monks,
'and dates back almost 1,000 years.
'In medieval times, the monks started farming rabbits
'for their fur and meat.
'The land surrounding the priory was full of warrens teeming
'with thousands of rabbits.'
Who would have eaten rabbit?
Oh, it's a posh food. Rich people eat it.
great ecclesiastical people, like the Prior.
It's something you would have had at a feast.
But I'm going to take you somewhere much, much more interesting
than this Priory and that's the warren lodge.
'Rabbit meat was so prized, it was served in royal households
'and lodges like this one
'were built to defend the valuable rabbit warrens against attack.'
So here it is.
Isn't it fun? Gosh, it's fantastic!
So from here you would have seen poachers, predators of the rabbits.
You'd be able to keep an eye on the whole thing from the roof,
there would be a parapet to look out.
Yeah, so you say they were valuable. I mean, how valuable?
Well, if you were a labourer or a peasant you'd have to work
several days to be able to afford a rabbit.
They are expensive things.
It's such a fantastic statement as to how important
rabbits are in the medieval world.
So can one go in?
Well, come and have a look.
The warreners lived in the lodge
so that they could protect the rabbits day and night.
It was built like a mini fortress.
Firstly, thickness of the walls. Massively thick.
-But look at that.
That is either for pouring hot water, oil,
anything obnoxious on an attacker.
That's what people often say.
Or probably it's really for pouring water down, because the door is here.
The way of getting into a building like this is to burn the door down.
Of course, yes.
And that's what you want to stop at all costs
-but that shows serious defensive intention.
And then, coming in, we can't get far in.
The other thing that you can see here is the ground-floor windows
-that are these narrow slitty things which you can fire out of.
And the upper-floor ones are generally bigger.
I'd quite happily live here. Get the fireplace going.
Get the warren going again.
Get the warren going again. That would be good.
Cook up some rabbit.
'Over time, rabbit fur and meat became less valuable commodities
'and the practice of warrening died out.
'As rabbits started populating the wild,
'rabbit became a food of the poor
'and cemented itself as a staple on British plates.'
It's remarkable, isn't it?
All this effort to preserve the rabbit,
all this money involved in rabbits
and now we just throw them away in landfill sites
or regard them as some sort of Walt Disney cuddly pet.
'The image of cute fluffy bunnies is all well and good
'but in reality they're destructive countryside pests
'which breed incredibly fast.
'The British rabbit population is at its highest since 1950
'and I've come down the road to meet Simon Whitehead,
'a specialist in traditional rabbit control.'
Well, this is the rabbit damage.
You can see it's a typical half-moon shape.
They grow wheat on this every year and that's what they're damaging.
You know, it can run up to many thousands of pounds
and if left then they're going to breed
and become a worse problem.
'For over 25 years Simon has been employed by East Anglian farmers
'to help control the rabbits on their lands.'
All over East Anglia the rabbits have had a good thrive and breed
and targeting the same crops.
They do say every rabbit's a fiver worth of damage.
So if you're a farmer working on the edge of your balance sheet
with your yields, the last thing you want to do
is see 20 or 30 of these brown little bodies going out onto that field
and doing them chisel teeth and causing a lot of damage.
'It's estimated rabbits inflict
'over £100 million worth of damage each year.
'They destroy grass boundaries and railway verges
'with their burrows and eat precious crops.'
I mean, how much, just from the crop point of view,
will a rabbit get through in the course of...?
Well, a rabbit will eat a third of its weight in greens
and that's in a day.
What methods do you use?
Well, we've got my favourite that I'm known for is my ferreting.
-I just love ferreting, you know.
And in here I have me three little albino jewel ferrets
what I've been working today so.
-These are the things that do the job.
'Simon dispatches the rabbits in an approved humane manner
'and also uses drop boxes as a way of catching them.'
The passage is here.
We've got a little tunnel coming through the fence
to the other side and underneath the tunnel is a trap door.
Falls in and then his friend comes and joins him
and that's how they work.
It's a tilt trap. Very simple yet very, very effective.
'Each year thousands of dead rabbits like these end up going to waste.
'Some in landfill sites.
'Simon, though, ensures all his rabbits end up back in the food chain.'
-What do you do with them?
-The butchers are now taking them.
The restaurants are taking the rabbits
and if I have to they then go to the game dealer.
What's your favourite way of eating rabbit?
I'm a burger man.
A bunny burger, black pudding, lettuce, sesame seed bap,
plenty of red sauce.
But I'm a pie fan as well. Loads of gravy in there. Delicious.
'There's no denying rabbits are a pest
'and farmers need to control them, but what I find shocking
'is that this delicious meat mostly goes to waste
'because we won't eat it.
'This needs to change!
'In honour of Simon I'm going to rustle up his favourite dish,
'which will open your eyes to the possibilities of rabbit,
'and this dish is fit for a king.
'Well, Elizabeth I to be precise.'
I've picked a very historical recipe,
which is Elizabethan rabbit pie.
The Elizabethans loved rabbit.
They did really interesting things with it and, quite honestly,
if it was good enough for the elegant, sophisticated Elizabethans,
I'm sure it's good enough for you.
I'm going to take the meat off the bones.
You don't even have to be terribly careful about it.
I often make this pie when I have friends for supper.
It goes down a storm and helps convert people to my rabbit cause.
Right. There we are.
To begin I take some rabbit fillets and dust in seasoned flour,
just as you would for an escalope of pork or chicken.
When I was at school they used to serve you rabbit
and say it was chicken because in those days chicken was
the expensive option and there was lots of rabbit about.
It was very difficult to tell really.
Nowadays it's quite easy to tell
because the rabbit has a lot more flavour.
As you'll find out when you tuck into this pie.
Gently fry the meat in butter.
And so there we are. The rabbit is now browned beautifully.
Before adding chopped onion and carrots,
artichoke hearts, apple and raisins. And finally some orange.
You find a lot of citrus, orange and lemon in Elizabethan recipes.
I finish by adding stock and a large splash of red wine
before leaving to simmer for two hours
to amalgamate all the wonderful flavours.
When it is cooked put it into a pie dish.
Doesn't that look appetising, and it smells appetising too.
Lastly I add a few hard boiled eggs, which the Elizabethans loved.
They taste fantastic with rabbit.
For those of you are members of the fluffy bunny brigade,
who oppose the eating of rabbit,
I simply find it incomprehensible why you would want to not eat
this delicious, healthy, versatile meat.
Cover with a simple short crust pastry. What a treat.
Perfect for any occasion.
Just wash it with a bit of egg wash
so that you get a nice colour to the pastry when it's cooked.
There we are.
All you have to do is put that into the oven and bake it
until the pastry is cooked.
After 40 minutes a feast awaits.
Those Elizabethans certainly knew how to make a good pie. There.
I don't think we have anything one half as good as that these days.
My delicious Elizabethan rabbit pie.
If this doesn't have your family hopping round the dinner table
I don't know what will.
Mmmm. It smells truly delicious.
Such a lovely combination of flavours and the richness
of the rabbit cooked in the butter is quite noticeably different.
I can't understand why people will eat any other type of meat
and yet scorn the humble inexpensive rabbit.
If I'm going to convince the nation we should be eating rabbit
then there's only one thing for it.
To get out there and serve it.
And where better to start, I ask myself, than with the young?
Students. And what do students like best in all the world? Food.
I'm in Cambridge, home to 50,000 students.
In the early 1700s rabbit was often served to the hungry scholars.
These days most students prefer tucking into burgers and chips.
So at Anglia Ruskin University I want to win over
a new generation to my rabbit cause.
Right, this should do. Like that.
I've asked for help from charcutier Marc Frederic.
Marc makes the most deliciously tasty rabbit Wellington
and rabbit pies, but how will they be received?
If they are going to resist this
then one despairs of the youth of the British nation.
Yummy! Yummy! We will convert the nation.
# Porum, porum, porum, popum, popum... #
'I remember being a young student.
'We had bright inquisitive brains,
'so I'm confident that I can win over the broad minds here.'
Oh, great. I can see the fluffy bunny brigade is here.
"Great to see the university is using a celebrity to endorse murder.
"Meat is murder."
'Maybe I've bitten off more than I can chew.
'We're setting up our rabbit wares in the refectory
'just in time to catch the lunchtime rush.'
You shouldn't be eating that. You should be trying the rabbit.
Can we tempt you to some rabbit?
Can we tempt you for today's lunch?
-I'm a vegetarian.
'30 minutes in and I haven't sold one.
'Maybe some samples will help convince people.'
-Where are you from?
-We cook rabbit.
I know you do, and very well.
-Can I get one of the pies, please?
-Traditional rabbit pie.
The pie was quite sweet. The taste of the meat was quite sweet.
Um, I'd have it again, yeah. Definitely.
It was good. Really good.
'Our European cousins are putting us to shame,
'which is no surprise, as rabbit is a staple on the Continent.
'Maybe their enthusiasm will rub off.'
Is it not for you?
I think it's the fact that it's like a rabbit.
You're serving rabbit?
-Have you ever eaten rabbit?
I'll pass. I'll pass.
Can we tempt you to try the rabbit we're offering today
while you're considering what you're going to eat?
Oh, I'm sorry. I don't like rabbit, I'm afraid.
'This is disastrous. The Brits are really letting me down.
'Time for some direct action.'
Students of Ruskin University, come to the refectory
and try our delicious rabbit sampled rillettes
and our rabbit pies,
rabbit Wellingtons and rabbit sausage rolls.
This really is the last offer because we're selling out fast,
so see you in there.
'A little white lie but a clever bit of marketing never goes a miss.'
-Can I try one of them?
That was good. That was all right.
There we are. Bon appetit.
Well done. Thank you very much. Hope you enjoy them.
That went rather well.
It's a bit like a mixture of chicken and sausage.
I've never tried it before, it's really nice.
'The one o'clock rush is a much more receptive crowd
'and my rabbit's flying off the hotplate.'
-It's all right?
It's a slightly richer flavour than chicken for example.
Um, it's really nice.
I have no moral qualms and it tastes good so, yeah, I'll go with that.
As a farmer's son, they're a pest. If you eat them, what's the problem?
-Can I have a sausage roll, please?
-A sausage roll. Certainly. Yep.
-I think I'll have some rabbit Wellington.
-It's really nice.
Yeah, it's very rich, isn't it? Very rich.
We've sold everything apart from what we've got on the hotplate.
-And lunch hasn't finished yet.
No. That's brilliant. Which has been the most popular?
Oh, for sure it's been the rabbit Wellington.
That's the last Wellington.
'Despite competing against the refectory's most popular dishes,
'my rabbit treats have gone down a storm.
'Marc made over 100 portions and we've sold out.'
Well, I think today has given me huge cause for hope.
I was really interested in how the students who hadn't eaten it, didn't want to eat it,
when they tried it took to it,
and if we persuade the young to eat it
then we've got generations to come who will continue to eat it.
So I'm very excited
and I think we're really on the right way forward.
'If I can convince the bright young minds of Anglia Ruskin
'then surely I've convinced you.
'But for anyone still sitting on the fence
'I have a final delicious recipe you'd be a fool to resist.'
For my next dish, we're leaving behind the traditional British
and going Italian.
It is rabbit saltimbocca, or, in English, rabbit jump in the mouth.
This is a great hassle-free light supper, ready to serve in minutes.
To begin, I trim the rabbit loin off the bone.
You could of course even ask your butcher to cut up
your rabbit for you but I think that would be wet.
And you're made of stronger stuff than that.
So now I'm just going to beat these out.
Once you have your rabbit fillets you need to flatten them
and here's how.
Cover in clingfilm, use a rolling pin and think of an ex-lover.
There you go. Works perfectly. And there you are.
When you take your clingfilm off,
you've got rather a large piece of flattened rabbit fillet.
Saltimbocca is generally thin slices of meat
sandwiching fresh sage and cured ham.
I'm using streaky bacon as its flavour
really complements the rabbit.
I would usually use a rather fatter bacon than this
but as the Italians use prosciutto ham, which is quite lean,
this will probably do perfectly well.
This recipe shows how adaptable rabbit is.
The secret is not to be afraid of using it.
You need to think outside the box about rabbit.
You know, you can do anything you want with it.
It's incredibly versatile. But we don't eat it.
We bury it, and that to me is the most appalling waste.
Given the amount of damage that rabbits do,
you're doing everybody a favour.
I take the sandwich fillets and lightly fry in some olive oil.
How delicious. I'm just going to add some beer.
The beer gives the dish extra flavour.
You could always use stock or white wine.
After a minute or so it's ready. And there you are.
What could be nicer? Rabbit saltimbocca.
I like to serve it with some runner beans.
How quick and simple is that?
The smell is absolutely sensational.
And so is the taste.
So no excuses. We should be eating rabbit.
It's healthy, as free range as you can get and utterly delicious.
But don't just take my word for it.
Andy Wore has his own business
cooking and selling wild game in East London.
On the menu is rabbit and chips and rabbit loin.
Every week we sell out of rabbits. It's one of the first things to go.
I actually can't get enough of them. Looking good. There you are.
With hot sauce Tabasco.
We can't cook it quick enough right now.
I think choosing rabbit was an option, nice and different.
That's the last one. No more rabbit.
Rabbit's quite a nice meat and you don't tend to find it very often
as well, which is a bit of a problem.
The demand is definitely there for rabbit.
Um, all, everything we took with us
was sold within about the first half hour, so I think it proves
it's definitely having a bit of a renaissance.
You see? Some people are cottoning on. What a lunch-time treat.
Surely you're convinced by now.
Rabbit is delicious.
Look what a splendid versatile banquet we've created with it.
It is the food of kings and peasants alike
and remember that rabbit is a country pest.
It destroys crops, it's a nuisance, it needs to be killed.
So get behind the British bunny and please, please eat it.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Our rabbit population is at its highest since 1950 and Clarissa Dickson Wright wants to revive our culinary heritage and get them back in our cooking pots. Gregg Wallace champions British raspberries as he discovers there is a deadly enemy threatening their survival.
Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace heads to Perthshire, where he comes face-to-face with an enemy that threatens the future of the British raspberry - root rot. He visits the remains of Tin City, an entire makeshift community where many Glaswegians enjoyed a holiday while they picked this valuable fruit. In the revival kitchen, he cooks three delicious dishes including his amazing raspberry pavlova.
Food writer and cook Clarissa Dickson Wright is as irrepressible as ever as she campaigns for the revival of wild rabbit. She investigates the history of this once highly valued animal, whose delicious meat would grace the tables of kings. She tries to get to the bottom of our prejudices to find out why we aren't eating rabbit anymore. At Anglia Ruskin University canteen, she persuades students to ditch their burgers for rabbit rolls but it is a challenge that even Clarissa finds tough.