I’d like to describe myself as an adventurous eater. I will try anything once. Ok, maybe not anything. I can’t get on the whole chocolate covered insects bandwagon. Or the consumption of animal eyes, tongues or reproductive organs. There are still some things I cannot do!
Lucky for me “J” also happens to be somewhat of an adventurous eater, so one Saturday afternoon while we were perusing the St Jacob’s Farmers Market we came across a rabbit. And “J” just had to have this rabbit. While I like to eat adventurously, cooking adventurously with a very expensive piece of meat is not my favourite thing to do.
Several terrible scenarios flashed before my eyes including: cooking it completely dry, burning it to a crisp, and starting the oven on fire. You may think I am over reacting, but I have consistently over cooked every meat I have prepared since the spring. You name it, I over cooked it. Pork chops, lamb, chicken. I blame it on the new BBQ. Despite my morbid thoughts I caved and we brought the rabbit home.
I think I stared at this poor little rabbit on my cutting board for 15 minutes before putting my big-girl pants on and taking a knife to it. Sectioning it was not the funnest part of the entire process, but once that was done the rest was gravy! A meat like rabbit usually responds well to braising. The moist heat keeps the rabbit from drying out and produces a nice tender meat. Yes, the first tender meat I have cooked in months. I nearly died and went to heaven when I tasted the final dish. Well worth the 2+ hours in the kitchen.
Braised Rabbit over Mushroom & Truffle Ravioli in a Dijon Sauce
This dish is all about flavour. From the truffle ravioli to the Dijon mushroom sauce, all these exciting flavours come together to rejoice when served with a piece of juicy, tender, braised rabbit. The recipe might seem labour intensive, but it’s oh-so-worth-it!
3.5lb rabbit, cleaned and sectioned
salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
3 medium sized carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 small white onions, cut in half
1 cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 medium portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz petite gourmet white button mushrooms
2 tbsp butter, divided
1 clove minced garlic
1 heaping tbsp flour
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 package PC Black Label Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Filled Triangoli, prepared as per package instructions
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Season cleaned and sectioned rabbit with salt and pepper.
3. In a small roasting pan (with lid) add carrots, celery, onions, water, rosemary and thyme. Set aside.
4. In a large cast iron frying pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Sear rabbit on all sides. Transfer pieces to roasting pan with vegetables. Place lid on roasting pan.
5. Braise in the oven for approximately 1.5-2 hours.
6. Near the end of the braising period sauté portabella mushrooms and white button mushrooms in butter and garlic. Be sure not to over cook the garlic or it will become bitter. Set aside.
7. Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove rabbit and place in an oven safe dish, return to oven to keep warm. Remove vegetables from roasting pan and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of liquid from roasting pan for Dijon sauce.
8. In a small sauce pan melt butter. Add flour and whisk until mixed. Add Dijon and whisk until mixed. Slowly add the 1 cups of liquid from the roasting pan, constantly whisking as you go. Continue to whisk the sauce, just until it comes to a boil. You should start to see it thicken. Once it reaches desired consistency remove from heat. Add sauce to the same pan with the sautéed mushrooms. Stir until mushrooms are coated.
9. Prepare triangoli according to package directions.
10. To assemble, spoon 6-8 triangoli onto a plate. Top with several spoonfuls of the mushroom Djion sauce. Place rabbit on top. Garnish with fresh thyme, and the onions, carrots and/or celery from the roasting pan. Serve hot.
Have you ever cooked with rabbit?