Sunday, 6 November 2011

Rabbit Rolly Rolled Around the Roll Round

I've attempted to do this dish several times with little success. It's based on a dish I've seen the chefs at Verge make for years but I've never been able to get the rabbit to stay moist and juicy. Tonight, those delicious juices of victory were running down my chin.

My day started with a trip to Largo's Meats on Brunswick St. They're definitely not the cheapest butchers in the world but their produce is second to none, and they tend to include the good bits like livers & kidneys. In return for a few crinkly lobsters they gave me two happy, healthy looking bunnies, and away I went. I took a slight detour home via the much loved Casa Iberica on Johnson St to pick up some prosciutto. I always get so nervous pronouncing that word in fear of disappointing the intimidating lady with the wonderful legs that go all the way up to the ceiling. In fact, most of them are hanging from the ceiling.

Back home, with all my ingredients plus a few purple carrots from the Veggie Connection on Brunswick St (not to be mistaken with VeggieConnection.com - a dating site for vegans & vegetarians (Gee, that sounds absolutely riveting (It's ok to tease them, there's no way the filthy vegans would be reading a post that opens with a picture of two skinned animals with their guts on the table))) and I was ready to rock, rabbit & roll. First of all, I had to debone the the little beauties...


I put the legs on to braise with some stock veggies, garlic, herbs, white wine and Lou's famous chicken stock, all brought to the boil on the stove and then into a coolish oven (100-120 degrees), lid on, for a couple of hours. In the mean time, I also whipped up a little rabbit stock with the carcasses that I will use for a sauce. You can get a really good stock in about 40 minutes in the pressure cooker.

That sounds like a good time for a beer. Tonights dinner is proudly brought to you by Cooper's Brewery & Albertson's "Reserve".


Once the legs were braised and the meat was falling off the bone at the slightest touch, I let it cool, then shredded all the meat in preparation for the filling.

In a mortar & pestle, I pounded away like a porn star at some coriander & fennel seeds, black peppercorns, dried rosemary, salt & a few shards of cinnamon. The end result was a pretty tasty seasoning powder.

Feeling pretty chuffed with myself, I decided to celebrate with a glass of red.

In a blender, I threw in half a chicken breast, fresh sage, garlic, an onion, seasoning, 200ml of cream and blitzed it into a paste. Then I added the shredded leg meat and the chopped up livers.

Now for the construction. This needed a fair bit of space. I laid out several sheets of cling film overlapping each other on the bench. Next was the prosciutto. What a beautiful thing. I would suggest downloading this image and setting it as your desktop background. More meat wallpapers I say.

I flattened out the rabbit loins with a meat mallet and layered them over the prosciutto and seasoned. Finally I smeared the chicken mousse over the rabbit and rolled the entire thing into a big meat log and tied at both ends.

Now off to the Labor in Vain to enjoy the afternoon sun and copious beers with my stupid friends.

Then drop by the Standard to pick up Ev on the way home. A quick little whiskey & soda wont hurt anyone will it?

By now, it would be fair to say that I'm pretty pissed. Keep focused Dave. You're so close to the perfect rabbit. Maybe we should just get a little bottle of Jammy for the road...

I decided the only way to ensure a juicy, moist rabbit was to cook it sous vide. Impossible to screw up. 65 degrees for an hour and a half did the trick perfectly.

I cranked the oven up to 250 and blasted the beautiful meatlog for 10 minutes to crisp up the prosciutto shell.

All afternoon I'd been reducing and reducing the rabbit stock, concentrating the flavour. Add a little butter & flour and you've got yourself a wonderful sauce. We'll go into more detail on sauces another day.

The end result was wonderful. The household of 310 were left licking their plates. We finished the Jammy, a boxload of Cooper's, the rest of whatever that red wine was, and we laughed and laughed into the wee hours of the morning playing charades Pictionary with full bellies and full hearts. Good food, good booze and the best friends anyone could ask for.

5 comments:

  1. Great, GREAT photos! What a feat to to finally master this dish. Very adventurous. That last photo of you guys is just too cute. Nice one, fellas!

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  2. Thanks Winston! It was a pleasure to cook, shoot and eat!

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  3. That's shoot with the camera by the way, we didn't actually manage to shoot the rabbit.

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  4. Aah yes. It would be a little strange to shoot if after you'd cooked it. I guess you could fill shotgun casings with rock salt and peppercorns.

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  5. That's totally a thing: http://www.seasonshot.com/Home.cfm
    mmmmmm.... teriyaki gunpowder...

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