Fine Dine At Home
The pleasure of fine at-home dining - you craft the dishes, we provide fine wines matching your creations.
Recipe: Saddle of Rabbit Casserole
May 10, 2020
John created this dish in Paris in 2010 when we stayed in an apartment near the Mouffetard Market. A fine local butcher supplied beautiful plump rabbit saddles. Tell the truth, we’ve never after matched the quality of these anywhere else but specialty game providores generally have satisfactory farmed rabbits. Get them to chop the saddles across the bone for you.
We used lovely French button mushrooms but chanterelle or small Swiss browns would also be good choices.
Whenever possible, we make our own stocks. When we purchase game for poaching or roasting, we ask if they can sell us one or two butchered frames and/or off-cuts which we then boil up with onions, carrots, celery, garlic and herbs and strain off a wonderful stock a couple of hours later. It gives the meal a satisfying sense of completeness.
8 crosswise chopped slices of bone-in rabbit saddle, around 5cms wide each
30 grams clarified butter (or good dollop of oil of your choice)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or mashed
8 small golden shallots, trimmed and pealed
1 bay leaf
500 mL chicken or rabbit stock (made with or mixed with dry white wine)
12 button or small Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
200 mL pouring cream
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup of fresh or frozen peas (fresh peas take longer to cook)
In a deep pot, heat the stock to a boil and simmer.
In another pan or pot, heat the clarified butter until bubbling, then add the rabbit pieces. Brown them over medium heat for a few minutes then remove the pieces and set aside. Add the golden shallots to the pan juices and sauté these until soft (about five minutes).
Away from the heat, pour the stock over the golden shallots and bring to the boil. Add the garlic, bay leaf and reserved rabbit pieces and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and continue cooking for five minutes more. The dish may be prepared in advance to this point.
Before serving, reheat the pan and add the pouring cream. Cook on a medium to high heat to reduce the liquid by about 1/3 or to the consistency your prefer, then stir in the mustard. Add peas and continue to heat for two or three minutes or until the peas are tender. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Garnish with Italian flat leaf parsley and serve with a baguette or sourdough bread.
2017 Whiskey Gully Wines Reserve Chardonnay ($35)
The creaminess of the rabbit and woodiness of the mushrooms demand a wine that is suitably and subtly aromatic. Our 17 Reserve Chardonnay is a Montrachet style, full-fruited with haunting truffle aromas joining melon and spices. The palate is long, soft and seamless with gentle fruit balanced by classy French oak. An elegant creamy finish perfectly suits the dish.
We serve this dish in the restaurant when we can. It's an opportunity meal... you see good rabbit for sale (or shoot a fat one in the paddock), then you make stock with the bones and this dish with the saddle.
The gaminess of the meat and its match with the mushrooms and shallots is a rare treat these days. Finger licking good, in fact.