22 April 2012

BRAISED RABBIT WITH ROSEMARY AND THYME

BRAISED RABBIT WITH ROSEMARY AND THYME
April... It's raining, hailing, the sun has been hiding for days, and it's really miserable outside. On a day like this, what's nicer than a plate of a warm, rich comfort food. This recipe has been on my list for a while so I decided to finally try it. I know from attempting to cook rabbit a couple of times before, that it is quite a tough meat and therefore easy to get wrong. So this method of braising looked very promising, and in actual fact, it perfectly did the trick. Braising means that meat gets cooked over a long period of time submerged in liquid at a relatively low temperature. This way the fibres can really relax
and get soft, with the flavours penetrating deep inside the meat. The result: flavoursome, juicy and tender rabbit. The recipe did not mention a side-dish and we decided to have Spätzle which worked very well, especially in combination with the creamy sauce. 

Adapted from: LE VIF weekend, HORS-SÉRIE, magazine, Autumn 2011
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For 6 Portions
1 rabbit
4 red onions, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp olive oil
250ml white wine
300ml veal stock
2 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
250ml cream

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
Cut the rabbit into pieces, then wash with plenty of cold water and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, then dust with flower. Peel the onions and garlic. Cut the onions into thin slices. Heat the oil in a casserole and brown the rabbit pieces in small portions on all sides over medium heat until they have a nice golden colour. Once browned, remove from the pan and keep warm on a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the casserole and caramelise gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in the wine to deglaze. Add some of the veal stock and place the rabbit pieces back in the casserole. Add the rosemary and thyme, then put in the oven for 45 min or until the rabbit is soft. During the cooking time baste several times with the remaining veal stock. The rabbit is cooked when a thermometer inserted reads 160°C. To make sure the meat is tender, it should be easy to insert a fork, as well as the meat sliding off the fork easily. If this is not the case, the rabbit needs to be cooked further as the fibres are still too tough. Once the rabbit is fully cooked, remove the pieces from the pot onto a plate and keep warm. Add the cream, then place the casserole on the stove and leave the sauce to reduce until it has a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then add the rabbit pieces back to the casserole  and warm through. Important: never boil the sauce with the rabbit inside as this will result in the meat getting tough. 


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BRAISED RABBIT WITH ROSEMARY AND THYME


Makes 6 Portions

1 rabbit
4 red onions, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp olive oil
250ml white wine
300ml veal stock
2 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
250ml cream

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
Cut the rabbit into pieces, then wash with plenty of cold water and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, then dust with flower. Peel the onions and garlic. Cut the onions into thin slices. Heat the oil in a casserole and brown the rabbit pieces in small portions on all sides over medium heat until they have a nice golden colour. Once browned, remove from the pan and keep warm on a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the casserole and caramelise gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in the wine to deglaze. Add some of the veal stock and place the rabbit pieces back in the casserole. Add the rosemary and thyme, then put in the oven for 45 min or until the rabbit is soft. During the cooking time baste several times with the remaining veal stock. The rabbit is cooked when a thermometer inserted reads 160°C. To make sure the meat is tender, it should be easy to insert a fork, as well as the meat sliding off the fork easily. If this is not the case, the rabbit needs to be cooked further as the fibres are still too tough. Once the rabbit is fully cooked, remove the pieces from the pot onto a plate and keep warm. Add the cream, then place the casserole on the stove and leave the sauce to reduce until it has a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, then add the rabbit pieces back to the casserole  and warm through. Important: never boil the sauce with the rabbit inside as this will result in the meat getting tough. 
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