Something that I have always wanted to try was cooking with rabbit. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually adore rabbits and bunnies, so a part of me is sad to be cooking with them. But at the same time, they actually can taste quite delicious if cooked under tender, or paired with the right ingredients. Since I went ahead and purchased a whole rabbit, I had to figure out how to use the different parts. I remember seeing a bacon-wrapped rabbit leg, and while that is delicious, I wanted to do a take on a stuffed rabbit leg instead, just because I can imagine these perfect, round medallions of leg meat with a duxelle. in the middle. I have previously done stuffed duck thighs before, so I know that stuffing leg meat is perfectly do-able, so long as you know how to butcher.
With the ingredients that I wanted to pair with the rabbit, I felt like porcini mushrooms, handmade pappardelle, and bacon was really the way to go. Garnish with a little broccolini and parmesan, and can you really even tell that it’s rabbit at that point? So for the final dish, we have a bacon-wrapped rabbit roulade, stuffed with mushroom duxelles, porcini mushroom and rabbit jus, pappardelle pasta, broccolini, and shaved parmesan to garnish. It is not necessarily a super fine-dining forward dish, but rather, a rustic one with hearty flavors. Ironic because we are approaching summer, and I just LOVE to cook things out of season. I’m joking. For whatever reason, I’m always craving heavier dishes during the summer, and for the life of me, I can never figure out why. I guess I just love things that I’m not supposed to have?
For the pasta dough:
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
Knead ingredients together to form a dough. Rest for at least 20 minutes before lightly flouring and then rolling out on a pasta roller. Once it is rolled to your second-thinnest setting, dust with more flour and cut into larger noodles. Blanch in boiling hot salt water for 45 seconds before transferring to the rabbit sauce to finish.
For the rabbit and porcini sauce:
3 tablespoons of dried porcini mushrooms
bones from rabbit leg
pan drippings from searing rabbit roulade
vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese; grated (or you can use the rind)
Rehydrate mushroom in stock. Roast the rabbit bones in the oven for at least 20 minutes. Add those into the stock. Fish out the mushrooms, and slowly reduce. Once the rabbit roulade is cooked and in the oven, deglaze that pan with this liquid. Continue reducing until the sauce becomes thick and glossy, then take off heat. Pass through a strainer, then whisk in your butter, then parmesan to finish.
For the sugo/ragout mixture
1 strip of bacon
2 rabbit belly flaps
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup finely minced onion
Mince up the bacon, rehydrated mushrooms, broccolini stems, and belly flaps and season aggressively. Render in a pan with the onion, garlic, and bay leaf before deglazing with the rabbit and porcini sauce.
For the duxelles:
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 cup pureed mushrooms
Sweat out onion with mushrooms and seasonings in the oil, until the moisture is completely cooked out. Cool down before stuffing into your roulade.
For the roulade:
2 rabbit legs, bones removed
Heavy season the flesh of the rabbit. Butterfly then pipe in the duxelles. Wrap tightly in bacon. In a cold pan, slowly heat up the roulades, rotating every 3 minutes, until the fat is properly rendered from each side. Transfer to a roasting rack and finish in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Rest before slicing into medallions.
Shaved parmesan cheese