Farm Rabbit Porchetta with Caramelized Onions

Credit: Didier Loire
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Ingredients (4 people)

Rabbit

  • 5 1/2 ounces shallots (150 g)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons white wine (5 cl)
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (2 cl)

Stuffing

Stewed Rabbit

  • 2 rabbit forequarters
  • 10 1/2 ounces yellow onions (300 g)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 rabbit legs
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces clear rabbit jus (5 cl)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons barolo vinegar (2 cl)
  • 3 3/4 tablespoons butter (15 g)

Vegetables

Finishing and Plating

  • 8 slices bread
  • 1 1/2 ounces melted San Daniele ham fat (40 g)

Instructions

Step 1: Rabbit

Cut open the rabbit from the 5th rib after the saddle. Bone the forequarters followed by the shoulders, the rib cage, and the rest of the rabbit. Be careful not to damage the meat. Reserve the heart, livers, sweetbreads, and kidneys.

Lay the rabbit pieces flat in a terra cotta dish. Cover with the marinade, and leave in a cool place overnight or longer.

Coarsely chop the meat from the forequarters.

Step 2: Stuffing

Grind the meat and weigh it. Add the same amount of each, by weight, to an earthenware dish.

Peel the cloves of garlic, split in two, and remove the sprout. Blanch twice, then cook in salted water. Reserve the garlic, whole, for stuffing the rabbit.

Finely chop the rosemary and the fennel seeds.

Chop the sage leaves.

Combine all of the ingredients together, and season with salt and pepper, bearing in mind that the pork belly and lardo are already quite salty.

Add the eggs, and mix well to obtain a homogenous stuffing.

Step 3: Porchetta

Spread out the caul on a clean board.

Place the barding fat on top, and spread out the rabbit on it. Season with salt and pepper, as you would for a roast.

Place half of the stuffing all along the center of the rabbit, and make a groove in the center. Place the rabbit livers, cut into strips, the heart, and the halved kidneys, the sweetbreads, and the blanched, reserved garlic in the center of this groove. Reserve the extra livers, which will be sautéed at the end. Cover the offal with the other half of the stuffing, to form an even sausage shape.

Fold over the rabbit, tucking in the barding fat to seal the roast. Wrap the caul around it four times, and securely tie the ends. Tie with string every 3/4 inch (2 cm), starting in the center, then every other turn on the right and the left, so that the stuffing is distributed evenly all along the rabbit.

Roast the resulting porchetta, preferably on a spit, for 45 minutes, basting frequently.

Once the rabbit is cooked, let set for two hours, still turning on the spit. Refrigerate for 8 hours, pressed under a light weight, and then seal sous-vide.

Wait for two days before serving the porchetta so that all the flavors have time to mix.

Step 4: Stewed Rabbit

Break off the blade from the legs of the rabbit. Cut the legs at the joints.

Remove the shoulders from the forequarters.

Season the various pieces of rabbit. Heat a ribbon of olive oil in a sauté pan, and brown the shoulders and the legs over a high heat. Remove the excess fat from the sauté pan.

When the pan cools, add a dab of butter, the cloves of unpeeled garlic, and the very thinly sliced onion.

Mix all the ingredients together, and bake at 320°F (160°C). Stir every five minutes for the first 45 minutes. The onions will caramelize and flavor the rabbit while cooking. The meat should be very tender at the end of cooking.

Shred the meat once cooked.

Step 5: Vegetables

Scrape the radishes and split them in two.

Peel the asparagus tips and the turnips.

Cook the asparagus tips in 1 quart (1 liter) of light chicken stock, and cool.

Cut the turnips into thick slices.

Remove the outer skin from the green onions.

Remove the stalks from the dandelions.

Peel the tomatoes, quarter them, and remove the seeds.

Cut the onions into rings, and keep only the outer rings.

The vegetables should be seasoned all together in a large bowl when serving. Dress with Barolo vinegar and a ribbon of olive oil, and season with fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.

Step 6: Finishing and Plating

Warm the shredded meat with the preserved onions. Add the rest of the clear rabbit jus. The mixture should become slightly syrupy and very flavorful. Add the chopped rosemary and a drop of Barolo vinegar.

Slice the porchetta, and lightly coat with the slightly melted aspic.

Stew the rabbit livers in olive oil flavored with rosemary and garlic in its skin. The livers should remain pink. Just before serving, season with a few grains of fleur de sel and 1 1/4 ounces (36 g) coarsely ground pepper.

Spread the slices of bread with the ham fat. Grill over a wood fire and cut into fingers.

The preserved leg, preserved shoulder, liver, mixed vegetables, and the porchetta should be presented separately on one plate.

Serve the aspic in a bowl on a bed of ice. Top off the slices of porchetta with some aspic in front of the guests when serving.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits