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Rabbit + foie gras


thelawnet
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I am experimenting with rabbits, basically the idea is to have a sort of mix of peasant and luxury, this is for a cooking course, and is being cooked to a budget (albeit a somewhat generous one).

The advantage of the rabbit is that it is somewhat technical (for assessment purposes) to bone the rabbit, remove the tenderloin, and so on.

I have seen a number of recipes for stuffed rabbit tenderloin, basically the rabbit tenderloin is stuffed with something, wrapped in caul fat, and then poached and possibly seared as well.

Gordon Ramsay has a recipe involving french trimming a couple of the rabbits ribs and serving these alongside the stuffed tenderloin, the rabbit I purchased were already cut up and this did not seem practical given their rather battered condition, but perhaps I will try this again when I get some more rabbits, this time hopefully whole....

Anyway, I currently have four rabbit tenderloin fillets and the rest of the rabbit is braising in the oven with some white wine (cider might be better here), pork belly, and vegetables. I am going to figure out somehow to assemble this when the rabbit is done....

I have a foie gras lobe arriving on Wednesday, for which I am going to acquire some more rabbits to cook with it, I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for how to integrate them? Simply searing the foie gras is one option, but rather uninspired.... Haven't handled foie gras before, so this is a new one. Due to the cost of the foie gras, it will not be possible to serve any more than 2 ounces of foie gras per person.

Also I wonder if any one has any good sauce recommendations to go with it? I bought some nice blood oranges, I suspect they would overpower the dish though.... Otherwise, some kind of apple, or possibly a madeira sauce? The final dish needs to be refined, with fussy presentation, this is not country cooking....

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Well the rabbit was decidedly off-putting. Having taken off the tenderloin, everything else was braised and then put in a food-processor with some sauteed shallots, chanterelles and double cream, and roughly chopped.

The recipe called for the loins to be stuffed with rabbit confit (no time for that, so the braised rabbit was used instead), wrapped in caul fat, and poached, wrapped in cling film.

Unfortunately we didn't have any caul fat and didn't substitte anything for it, but basically the rabbit fillets were slightly tough (not too bad), but completely bland and flavourless. The problem I think is lack of fat - the braised rabbit was nice because of the double cream, bacon and pork belly, but the rabbit fillet had nothing. And essentially boiling it (well, poaching) a fatless meat just didn't work. Maybe the caul fat was supposed to melt into it? I have never used it.

Anyway, it was so bland and flavourless that any thought of trying to repeat the recipe seem unlikely. Basically when you make a point of serving someone the best part of the animal, it's supposed to be tender and flavoursome, but this was tasteless and slightly tough, even if the rest of the dish was ok.

I'm not sure if it could be tender and flavoursome if cooked better, but I don't really have much motivation to try again... I'm sure a farmed rabbit would be more tender, but they are comparatively expensive.

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I have a little book of Stephane Reynaud, Foie gras & petite terrine maison.

There is a recipe for mabre' de lapin et foie gras. You cook a couple cloves of garlic in milk and water until soft, squeeze out the pulp. Mix rabbit (just the saddle) with eggs, pepper, garlic pulp and cream. Season. Add some walnuts. Cut the foies in strips.

On cling film put some fat strips, rabbit meat on top, foie gras to form 3 strips. Roll and tight. Poach 30 minutes in vegetable stock.

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I have to say, tho', I really like the idea. Not just that you're using two of my favourite ingredients to create a greater whole, but the rich/poor thing. See also: Andrew Pern's book (and the dish that lends its name to the book), Black Pudding & Foie Gras.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Reads like a disaster film.

First with no experience in preping rabbit or foie gras, you simply cannot expect results to be palatable if you make the dish "The final dish needs to be refined, with fussy presentation, this is not country cooking...."

First, what was the source of your rabbit? If using a cut up rabbit previously frozen from China, that's a starting point to your problems. I use only fresh rabbit I get from a Live Poultry Shop or wild rabbit I shoot and process my self.

Second, caul fat is an essential ingredient in many preps where things both need to be held together and fat added. I know of no substitute. Search it out.

Three, do not get your rabbit cut up. Purchase it whole, then decide what to do with it.

The most elegant prep I know of is a boneless saddle of rabbit. Depending on the size of you rabbit, it does take good knife skills and sharp cutlery. I do this on both commercial and wild rabbits. Essentially the tenderloin is stuffed along with a forcemeat made from the rabbit legs into a wrap made from boning out the backbone of the animal from the saddle, the bones used to make a stock and then sauce and fat of some kind added to the forcemeat. There is a specific cooking process that needs to be followed to assure that the tenderloin is not overdone, tedious but an elegant preparation.

My suggestion is to find a source for USA commercial rabbit whole and simply cook the rabbit and sear the foie gras and serve together until you can test your methods.-Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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Reads like a disaster film.

First with no experience in preping rabbit or foie gras, you simply cannot expect results to be palatable if you make the dish

"The final dish needs to be refined, with fussy presentation, this is not country cooking...."

I've prepped rabbit before, and there was actually no foie gras in the dish. Rabbit is cheap and experimentation was the name of the game.

First, what was the source of your rabbit? If using a cut up rabbit previously frozen from China, that's a starting point to your problems. I use only fresh rabbit I get from a Live Poultry Shop or wild rabbit I shoot and process my self.

Does China export rabbits?

Here in England they are cheap and plentiful running around the fields.

Second, caul fat is an essential ingredient in many preps where things both need to be held together and fat added. I know of no substitute. Search it out.

Sure. But it was lacking for this effort.

Three, do not get your rabbit cut up. Purchase it whole, then decide what to do with it.

It's not the end of the world, that the legs had already been removed. But no, not ideal, as I said in my post. Sometimes you just take what's available, altough the butcher I used is a good one and they sell game bought directly from hunters.

The most elegant prep I know of is a boneless saddle of rabbit. Depending on the size of you rabbit, it does take good knife skills and sharp cutlery. I do this on both commercial and wild rabbits. Essentially the tenderloin is stuffed along with a forcemeat made from the rabbit legs into a wrap made from boning out the backbone of the animal from the saddle, the bones used to make a stock and then sauce and fat of some kind added to the forcemeat. There is a specific cooking process that needs to be followed to assure that the tenderloin is not overdone, tedious but an elegant preparation.

We have good sharp knives, and there was no trouble taking off the tenderloin. The stuffing was nice too, double cream and pork belly contributing the necessary fat to the leg meat. The instructions given for cooking seemed rather implausible, certainly in retrospect, perhaps the caul fat would have made all the difference, but I think it was a problem beyond that. The preparation you describe is roughly the one I read.

My suggestion is to find a source for USA commercial rabbit whole and simply cook the rabbit and sear the foie gras and serve together until you can test your methods.-Dick

I've purchased farmed rabbit once before, I think it tends to come from France here, I didn't see the point particularly, given the much lower cost of wild rabbit, but maybe it's worth another go.

OTOH, I'm not particularly keen to do so, I did pigeons yesterday and mallard today, and both were very tasty and seem a more fruitful starting point - I have no particular inclination to cook something I don't enjoy eating....

Anyway, foie gras may now be partnered with poulet de bresse, but I haven't quite decided....

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Bocuse has a very nice prep using a vessy but of course you have to find a vessy, not an easy thing to do in the USA.

China exports a LOT of rabbit to the US, in fact it's just about all one can find in a frozen product or most 'fresh' or thawed product. Sad state of affairs.

I don't know of any fresh source over here for French chickens either.-Dick

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