Monday, June 22, 2015

Flemish Cider Rabbit

     A Classic Rabbit Entrée! 
     There is no need to marinate the rabbit before starting to cook this recipe.  The old fashioned hand pressed apple cider will tenderize the rabbit as it cooks.  The rabbit is slowly roasted in a deep terrine with old fashioned apple cider.  After the cider reduces, it glazes the rabbit and creates its own sauce!
     Hand pressed cider is a muddy rusty brown color.  Hand pressed apple cider has no preservatives and it is not pasteurized.  This type of cider has a limited shelf life, before it naturally ferments.  
     The natural enzymes in hand pressed cider do act as a tenderizing agent for lean meats like rabbit.  The acidity of cider tenderizes the meat when cooking.  The nature pectins and sugars in old fashioned apple cider create a very nice natural glaze for light meats and wild game.          
     Flemish Cider Rabbit:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Split a large rabbit in half lengthwise.
     Season the rabbit with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
     Step 2:  Overlap the rabbit halves in a deep narrow roasting pan or a deep narrow terrine.
     Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic.
     Add 1 ounce of unsalted butter.
     Add enough farm style old fashioned hand pressed apple cider to cover the rabbit.
     Step 3:  Place the pan in a 325ºF oven.  (Do not cover the pan with a lid.)
     Use tongs to flip the rabbit in the cider once every 10 to 15 minutes.
     Baste the rabbit with the cider juices from the pan occasionally.
     *The cider and rabbit juices will slowly reduce as the rabbit bakes.
     Step 4:  When the rabbit roasts long enough for the reduced cider to begin caramelizing, add 6 large pearl onions.
     Add 2 peeled Yukon Gold Potatoes.
     Add 1 clean white section of a leek.
     Add 1 sprig of tarragon.
     Step 5:  Continue roasting and basting the rabbit, till the onions start to caramelize.  The rabbit should also be well caramelized from the reduced cider sauce at this point.
     Step 6:  Remove the rabbit and vegetables from the pan and place them on a serving platter.
     Keep the rabbit warm on a stove top.
     Step 7:  Transfer the cider sauce from the roasting pan to a sauce pot over medium/medium high heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of cider to the reduced roasting pan cider sauce, to refresh the sauce with fresh cider flavor.
     Rapidly boil and reduce the cider sauce, till is a thin consistency that can glaze a spoon.
     Step 8:  Remove the sauce pot from the heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter while whisking.
     Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a container.
     Spoon a generous amount of the the cider sauce over the rabbit and vegetables.
     Flemish Cider Rabbit is full of flavor!  This is such a nice simple old world recipe.  The cider will darkly caramelize on the high points of the rabbit and that really adds a rustic touch.  Turning the rabbit in the cider often will keep the rabbit meat moist and tender.
     Flemish Cider Rabbit was an entrée that was commonly served to palace royalty in France a few centuries ago. 

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