Posted by Tim Vidra / Thursday, April 26, 2012
Braised Rabbit in Red Wine with a Sage Polenta
I mentioned earlier in the week the grass fed lamb I picked up at Farm to Family and in that same trip, Suzi educated me on the rabbit they were carrying from Tuckahoe Lamb and Cattle Company. Well I was not getting out of there without picking one up as I had not cooked a rabbit in a while and was excited to give braising a try.
As stated on their website, rabbit is one of the healthiest, best tasting meats available —it's an all white meat, fine grained and can be substituted in any veal or poultry recipe. Rabbit meat is higher in protein, but lower in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories than any other meat.
Besides this recipe kicks it! Wow!
First of all — when you purchase your rabbit it does come whole and frozen, so if you are unfamiliar with cutting up a rabbit it is really quite simple. Here is a visual tutorial on how to cut up a rabbit from Saveur that I recommend.
I adapted the following recipe from Epicurious and the only thing I did differently was placing the rabbit pieces in a salt water brine for about 6 hours after I cut the meat up.
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A 2 1/2- to 3-pound rabbit, thawed if frozen, cut into 7 or 8 serving pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled (this was grown in the E.A.T. garden)
- 1 recipe basic polenta, kept warm
In a large bowl stir together flour and salt. Add rabbit and toss to coat. In a heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking — then brown rabbit in batches, transferring pieces to a bowl.
Add onion and remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Stir in garlic and rosemary and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, wine, and rabbit with any juices and simmer, covered, 1 hour, or until rabbit is tender. Remove lid and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly. Stir in parsley.
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cornmeal or instant polenta
To make basic polenta:
Bring water and salt to a boil in a saucepan and gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cook polenta over moderately low heat (it should be barely boiling), stirring constantly, until very thick and pulls away from side of pan, about 40 minutes for cornmeal and about 15 minutes for instant polenta. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. Stir polenta just before using.
Note: Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 20 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.
Finally, stir sage into warm polenta. Serve polenta topped with rabbit and sauce.
The sage polenta with the rabbit was quite amazing and you might ask yourself for white meat why does it look so dark? Well, it absorbs the color of the red wine and the flavor which really gives it that rustic richness.
So be honest — have you had and cooked with rabbit before or did I persuade you to at least give this meat a try? If so, make sure you hop on over to Farm to Family and pick up some of this delicious alternative to veal or poultry!
E.A.T. local E.A.T. well