Local rabbit grilled with fresh langoustine from Laeso

Paul Cunningham

Paul Cunningham

15th April 2011
Paul Cunningham

Local rabbit grilled with fresh langoustine from Laeso

Langoustines are part of the shellfish family. They are also known as Dublin Bay prawn, scampi or Norway lobster. There are many ways to cook langoustines - they can be roasted, poached, grilled, fried, deep-fried or boiled. Take a look at the local rabbit grilled with fresh Laeso langoustine recipe below, as tried and tested by professional chefs - why not give it a try?


  • Local rabbit grilled with langoustines from Læsø.’
  • for four
  • 4 gigantic fresh langoustines from the Danish island of Læsø
  • 1fresh saddle of medium sized rabbit
  • 1tsp roasted, crushed fennel seed
  • compote
  • 4 green tomatoes - diced
  • 2 green apples - diced
  • 2 challottes – finely diced
  • 100g sugar
  • 1dl Lilleø apple vinegar
  • 1tsp roasted, crushed fennel seed
  • aïoli
  • 4new potatoes
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1tbsp Pastis
  • 2 tbsp olive oil based mayonnaise
  • salad
  • ½ small fennel
  • A little wild rocket leaf – ours comes from Gotland
  • Rapseed oil from Bornholm
  • lemon


Poul’s Læsø sea salt from Bornholm’s little production
For the chutney, boil the tomatoes, apples and challottes, together with the sugar, vinegar and the fennel seed - 10 minutes until thick and well reduced.
The aïoli now - poach the potato tender, with the fennel in a touch of water and olive oil – drain, blend smooth. Cool and bind together with the mayonnaise. Finish the aïoli with a little lemon juice, Pastis & fresh crushed garlic. Poul’s sea salt from Læsø.
Dress the rabbit and the langoustine with the crushed fennel seed & sea salt. Grill rare over hot coals.
Dress the finished dish with a little roasted fennel seed to enhance the aromas.
’The day, and the duel for The Golden Langoustine Claw.’
A few summers ago, after over sixty hungry guests, and most busy with our chef’s table. Unexpected vegetarians, vegans and other unexplained requests that generally make us cooks ‘extra happy’, whist dancing around in the heat of our Saturday night kitchen – we finally turned off our trusted Molteni, polished the last of the coppers and eventually received our little glass of wine (and maybe a beer or two) – the Copenhagen Town Hall bell rang 2am.
Five hours later I stood in the somewhat Lilliput’esque airport of Roskilde with my son of 7. We were on our way to the equally Lilleput-looking-island of Læsø in Alex’s little Lego-sized airplane. Alex looks like a real pilot with the biggest, and most well kept, glazed handlebar moustache that I had ever seen. After about an hour, through the silver grey rainclouds our eyes fell upon the beautiful green woodland of Læsø.
Læsø Langoustine Festival is held on Østerby harbour every year at the beginning of August. Amongst other events they invite professional chefs over to battle for the prize of ‘The Golden Langoustine Claw’. We were four that year, given the task of creating a course using the island’s our products. I scoured the beaches, forests and local farms – langoustine should of course be playing the leading roll. Most happy indeed was I in 2004 to bring home the ’Claw’ after I presented a dish using the gargantuan langoustines, warmed with locally salted speck and raspberries from the mayor’s very own back garden. The dish was after strewn with wild flower petals and herbs. A little soup of the beast’s head was flavoured with tiny chanterelles – served in the handmade coffee cups of the islands salt-master, Poul from Læsø Salt Farm.
August 2006... 12 o’clock on a sunny Sunday lunchtime. We stood again on the harbour, in front of 300 wild langoustine lovers. Freshened by the recent bout of fine summer rain – locally shot rabbit and fresh langoustines were placed over warm coals. My plates were dressed with the fennel aïoli and my green tomato & apple compote was raring to go – I glanced around to check on my sous-chef of the day (Christian my son) – only to see tears running down his small blushing cheeks. Not only had he cut the fennel finer that fine with my tiny handmade knife, bought on a recent tour of duty in Tokyo, his little finger had somehow come between his knife and the chopping board. The public gasped as we ran from the harbour in search of the nearest first-aid lady. Exactly 3 minutes later we were ready to again climb the steps and return to the stage - tears dried, and finger well plastered... it was like David Beckham returning to the field after an injury – the crowd went wild! Christian looked at the people...looked at his finger and slow raised his right hand – saluting & thanking HIS public.
Our grilled rabbit and langoustine with fennel and green tomato chutney was devoured by the jury. A few hours afterwards Christian and I were called up to receive again, the infamous ‘Golden Langoustine Claw’ for 2006.
‘The sympathy vote of the public had no influence what-so-ever!’.
From the Læsø section of PAUL FOOD – published September 1, 2011 by Grub Street.

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