Braised rabbit leg with mushroom risotto

In honor of Easter and April, I wanted to make another dish using rabbit. So I decided to embrace buying a full rabbit by making two dishes with it, this risotto being the first. Risotto has always been such a fascinating dish for me, just because I was used to eating either steamed rice or congee. Risotto was like a midway point between the two, texturally, and it always sounded so fancy. I love cooking rabbit in an Italian fashion, typically with pasta, but I wanted to feature it in a risotto as well, since I already had a vision of making a rabbit stock with the carcass bones. I wanted to utilize the legs and the carcass to create a super rustic, homey dish. So I went with braised rabbit legs, and with that carcass, I made a stock. I also took the belly flaps, which are like rabbit bacon, and folded those into a risotto with rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, which were also used the flavor the stock itself. Mushrooms and rabbit are a combination made in heaven, so I really wanted to embrace that with this dish. It is a simple yet time consuming dish to make, but the flavors that get developed from using that carcass to make a stock, and keeping the rabbit leg meat on the bone, it’s true umami. One a slow day, dishes like these are some of my favorites to make, just because no matter what, they’ll taste delicious.

For the braised rabbit leg:
4 rabbit legs
rabbit stock
butter
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Season the rabbit legs and sear off on each side in butter to guarantee golden browning. Deglaze with the stock and allow to simmer, submerged, for 45 minutes. Finish by searing off the rabbit legs again in butter just to seal in those juices.

For the rabbit-mushroom stock:
1 rabbit carcass
1 onion, diced
1 leek, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
a pinch of salt
water
oil
1 egg white

Roast the carcass in a 400 degree F oven for 15 minutes. In a stockpot, saute the vegetables in oil and salt until translucent. Add the carcass and deglaze with water, filling the pot up the entire way. Simmer for two hours. Remove the meat from the carcass, and reserve from of the braised vegetables. Remove the mushrooms and chiffonade those for the risotto. Whisk up an egg white and mix the meat and vegetables into it. Pour that into the liquid and allow that to simmer and boil for another 10 minutes. Pour through a chinois or strainer lined with a cheesecloth. Use the stock for both the risotto and the braised meats.

For the braised rabbit belly:
2 rabbit belly flaps
oil
a pinch of salt

Finely dice the belly flaps and season with salt. Render out on low heat in oil for about 5 minutes, then braise in the stock for 30 minutes.

For the risotto:
1 cup white rice, preferably arborio
reserved mushrooms
3 cups warmed rabbit-mushroom stock
braised rabbit belly
a pinch of salt
oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Toast the rice in oil and salt. Pour 1 cup of stock in first, along with the mushrooms and rabbit belly, and stir on medium heat constantly. Once the liquid has been reduced, add in another 1/2 cup and continue to stir on medium heat. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the stock. Fold in the butter and cheese to finish.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    This is such a comfy dish! Thanks for generously sharing your recipe. Fabulous pairing with the rabbit and risotto!

    Liked by 1 person

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