Friday 26 December 2008
Recipe: Rabbit en croute
Loosely based on Bruno Loubet's recipe for roast Saddle of Rabbit, this dish is absolutely delicious. No one of the various strongly-flavoured ingredients which goes into the Croute dominates, and in fact it's hard even to identify them individually within the finished dish - but the marriage of flavours is first class, and the overall result is undeniably a winner.
As ever, you can use commercially produced pastry here - but the flavour won't be as good as if you make your own; and the work involved in doing so is negligible.
Puff pastry, made* with 2 cups '00' Flour, 1.5 teaspoons Salt, 130g softened Butter, 0.5 cup of water, 130g chilled Butter; 1 Rabbit, boned; 2 sun-dried Tomatoes (soaked in warm water for an hour or so, to soften them); scant tsp Green peppercorns; 1 tsp White Truffle Oil; 6 slices Prosciutto; 1 cup Flat Leaf Parlsey, chopped. Salt. Beaten Egg, to brush on the croute.
*Process all ingredients together, apart from the Chilled Butter, to ensure all are well blended; wrap and chill for one hour; roll on a floured surface into a strip approx 15" x 6 ", then dot 2/3 of this with the diced chilled Butter before folding into a package 5" x 6". Turn through 90 degrees, then roll out again; fold twice into the centre (so making a four-layer thickness of pastry) and turn and roll again. Repeat once more and leave to rest for an hour, then repeat the folding and rolliing stages twice, before leaving to rest for one more hour. The pastry is then ready to use.
1. Lay the boned Rabbit out on the work surface; thinly slice the sun-dried Tomato, and lightly crush the Peppercorns. Arrange these on the Rabbit, pushing down into creases in the meat, and then sprinkle the Truffle Oil over the top. Lightly salt, and then loosely roll the carcasse up, head-to-tail.
2. Roll half of the Pastry into a rectangle about 12" x 6" and place on a greased baking tray. In the centre of the rectangle lay three slices of Prosciutto and cover with half of the chopped Parsley, to make a bed on which to place the rolled Rabbit. Once in place, cover with the remaining Parsley and then the remaining Prosciutto. Roll out the remaining pastry, dampen the edges of the lower piece of Pastry and cover the Rabbit, pressing down to seal the edges.
3. Trim excess Pastry away and tidy up the edges of the Croute. Make three holes in the surface of the pastry, and brush all over with beaten Egg. Bake for forty minutes in a 200 degree C oven, and let rest for 15 minutes or so outside the oven before slicing to serve.