Lacinato Kale-Stuffed Rabbit Saddle with Wild Mushroom Ragoût
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Credit: Dustin Clark
The National Culinary Review, December 2008
From the Chef
“Note: This recipe was the second-place winner in the Nicky USA Wild About Game 2008 competition.”
4 rabbit forequarters
2 t. salt, divided
1 t. fennel seeds
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, medium dice
1 carrot, medium dice
1 rib celery, medium dice
3 oz. dry white wine
1 cup rich rabbit stock
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs thyme
2 leeks. sliced, blanched
6 ounces cauliflower mushrooms. cleaned. sautéed
2 shallots. sliced
1 garlic clove. sliced
2 T. butter, divided
1 t strong Dijon mustard
3 oz. cream
1/2 bunch lacinato kale. cut into ribbons
2 boneless rabbit saddles
1 sheet caul fat
Roasted Potatoes (recipe follows)
8 oz. fingerling potatoes
2 T. butter
3 oz. Iucques olives. trimmed from pit
1 T. fines herbs
1 t. salt
1 t. lemon juice
1) Heat oven to 325°F. Season rabbit legs with 1 t. salt and fennel seeds. Sear in olive oil until golden-brown. Remove rabbit from pan; add diced vegetables. Lightly brown; deglaze with white wine. Let reduce by 2/3. Add stock; bring to a boil. Lower heat; add bay leaves and thyme. Return rabbit legs to pan; cover. Put in oven for 1 1/4 hours. or until tender.
2) Let cool in broth. Pick meat from bones; coarsely chop. Combine leeks. mushrooms, chopped rabbit meat and rich stock Let stew for 15 minutes.
3) Heat oven to 400°E Sweat shallots and garlic in 1 T. butter. Add mustard and cream; reduce. Add kale; tenderize, coat with cream. Season with remaining salt and lemon juice. Chill mixture.
4) Place kale in center of seasoned rabbit saddle. Fold in small ends of tenders. Roll belly meat around to make bundle. Encase in caul fat; truss. using butcher's twine. Sear in remaining butter; put in oven for 15 min. Remove; allow meat to rest for 10 minutes.
5) To serve: Place roasted potatoes on base of plate. Slice saddle: lay on top. Spoon ragoût on and around saddle.
Method: Cover potatoes with cold water. Add salt; cook until tender. Remove from water; while hot, peel off skin. Brown butter in sauté pan. Crush potatoes; crisp in butter. Add olives; season with herbs, salt and fresh lemon juice.
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