Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Veggies and Rabitis

The mild and mostly white meat of rabbit is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and browned in butter in this gourmet recipe. The sautéed rabbits are covered in sumptuous gravy make with vegetables, rabbit meat, tomato concentrate, white wine, herbs, thick cream, and butter giving flavor to the dish and creating an extraordinarily unforgettable meal. The rabbit in a gravy sauce is served on a bed of lentils for a complete and satisfying healthy dinner ideas or lunch. Pair this with a good bottle of red wine such as Merlot, Pinot Noir or Shiraz. Bordeaux and Burgundy wines also go perfectly well with rabbit dishes.

Rabbit has very little fat and can quickly dry out and become tough. To avoid this, the rabbit meat should be cooked quickly on high heat sealing its juices and keeping it moist and tender. The creamy gravy used in this recipe also helps flavor the meat and give it additional moisture. For safety, cook the rabbit meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Do not poke or pierce the rabbit meat unnecessarily, however, since the little juices that it has will leak out and you end up with tough and dry meat.

When choosing rabbit for sautéing, choose a young rabbit, also known as a fryer, as opposed to a mature rabbit or a roaster. Young rabbit is more tender and moist than the older varieties, which are more appropriate for stewing or braising. Fryers have a fine grain and a bright pink flavor and can be cooked similarly to chicken. They are usually between 1 and 3 pounds in weight and are less than 12 weeks old. Roasters are generally over 8 months old and a little darker in color.

Don’t forget to soak the lentils overnight before cooking. The lentils will absorb the flavors from the gravy, vegetables and spices and make a perfect contrast and complement to the sautéed rabbit.

2/3 lb. green lentils
mixed greens (thyme, parsley, laurel)
3 rabbit fillets (about 2 2/3 lbs.)
5 large carrots
1 leek
1 tip of baking soda
2 shallots, butter
2 tablespoons cream
½ cup rabbit gravy

For the Rabbit gravy:
1 lb. rabbit carcass - rabbit pieces (front, head) cut into small pieces
1 diced onion
sliced carrot
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
1 1/4 cups white wine
1 1/4 cups water
salt, pepper

1. Start preparing the rabbit gravy by heating oil in a large Dutch oven or similar an. Brown the rabbit pieces. Add the vegetables, allowing them to brown, stirring constantly. Add water, tomato concentrate, and white wine. Simer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain in a fine sieve. You should obtain about 1 1/4 cups gravy, which you can refrigerate for about 1 week or place in the freezer.

2. The night before preparing the meal, soak the lentils in lukewarm water. Cook the lentils in salted water with the mixed greens for about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Prepare the rabbit fillets and cut each into 5 or 6 large cubes. Wrap in foil and refrigerate. Peel the carrots and dice one of them. Cut the other carrots into small balls, using a special knife. Cook in boiling, salted water. Keep only the white part from the leek. Cut it a la julienne (into long, thin strips) and cook in boiling, salted water with a pinch of baking soda. Refresh in ice cold water and drain. Mince the shallots and place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

4. Heat a small amount of butter and the minced shallots in a saucepan. Allow shallots sweat for a moment. Add the diced carrot, lentils, 2 spoons cream, 2 spoons rabbit gravy, and 1 oz. butter. Allow to gently simmer until the whole is smoothly bound. Season.

5. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Place them in a pan with 1 ½ tablespoons butter. Sautee on low heat for 6 to 8 minutes (without browning), stirring regularly. Simultaneously, sauté the carrot balls in butter. Season. Sauté the leek a la julienne in some butter. Season. Boil the rabbit gravy for 1 minute. Bind on high heat by incorporating 3 tablespoons butter. Season.

6. Place the lentils in the middle of preheated serving dishes. Lay the rabbit pieces on top of them and sprinkle with the leek and carrot balls. Pour a spoon of gravy over each side.

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