Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm Baaaack - Silence of the Bunnies

by Mike Pardus

Hard drive melted down before I got the chance to upload photos and video from the WellFleet Oyster fest and an Artisanal Whiskey tasting (Both jammed into the same debauched weekend - narrowly averted gout).

Anyway, I think I can do another whiskey tasting - maybe next week - but the oyster fest, just take my word for it - you want to go next really do, and if you're comfortable foraging for wild mushrooms, the forest surrounding Wellfleet is flush with fungi in early October! A great accompaniment to the bounty of the bay.

Trying desperately to regain my momentum, I bought a grocery store rabbit and present here it's dissection and my subsequent use. The video came out well. I have some still photos of the finished products, but they're not uploaded yet, I'll post them later if there's enough interest. The rabbit, prepared as described in the video, was really good.

Rabbit Fab Part 1:

Rabbit Fab Part 2:


MadFud said...

Bunny-tastic, Chef!

In your stuffing with the onion, fresh sage leaves & the offal - is there a risk of overpowering the flavor of the rabbit? Is my understanding correct that rabbit is "delicate" in flavor or is it robust enough to take it?

Love the videos, I've learned so much from watching them!!

Mike Pardus said...

I know what you mean, and in a sense you are absolutely right. But honestly, I think that farmed rabbit is too mild by itself, insipid. If properly cooked, it has great texture, moist and juicy - so it makes a great vehicle for other things - and the offal is RABBIT offal, so, it tastes like rabbit...just a different part.

Glad you like the videos, I hope to keep them rolling.

Bob del Grosso said...


It is helpful to bear in mind that Mike is someone who is always going to try to show how not to create waste. There is no practical way to reserve rabbit livers and kidneys and fat for other applications, so he naturally uses them all at once.

And sure the rabbit loin can taste good with the kidneys and liver provided it is all seasoned well and cooked "a pointe." Fughedaboudit.

Cd said...


Great video, I'll be looking for a rabbit soon enough. If I wanted to make one of my favorite dishes (Pappardelle w rabbit) would you recommend cubing all the various meats for the ragu or stick to a similar part?

Looks like a perfect use for rabbit stock in a rabbit ragu for same day cooking.

Mike Pardus said...

cd -I'd make stock from the bones, use the stock as the base for the ragu and braise the legs - both front and hind - in the ragu until tender. The loins would be too lean for braising. Since the technique I demonstrated is relatively easy, I'd prepare them that way, roast them and slice them to "dress up" the pappardelle.

BTW, I stuffed and wrapped the hind legs in the same fashion, roasted them and served them with soft polenta and a sauce of rabbit stock reduction, tomatoes, capers, olives, and anchovies.

Cameron Siguenza said...

Great post - thanks Mike. I grew up eating wild rabbit, fiddleheads, morels, pine mushrooms and other delicacies. One of my faves was rabbit stew with some good dumplings. Nice after a long day fishing with my dad and brother. Brings me back.

MichaelG said...

I had the same question as madfud. Also, what kind of knife do you use and what do you do to hone/sharpen/care for it?

Michael Greenberg said...

What temperature do you cook the rabbit roast to? Do you brown it first, or throw it straight into the oven?

Thanks, and keep up the great videos!

Mike Pardus said...

Knives....I'm kind of a knife slut, I'll use whatever's handy as long as it does the job. My favorite knife was bought on a sidewalk in Saigon in 2004 - it's very small (4" long), has no "handle" to speak of ( the steel is just rolled into a stub at the end of the blade)and flimsy by most standards, and it's made of plain steel - so that it rusts like crazy. But it's razor sharp and stays that way with only minimal attention. I sharpen it on a plain 400/800 grit stone made by Norton. I'm really not a big fan of the "cult of knives"...sure, some of the Japanese ones are sexy as hell, but do I really need to spend $200 when a $30 Forschner with a plastic handle will do the same job? I'd rather spend the money on better ingredients, better wine, or transportation to a cool place to eat street food.

Temp on Rabbit - I dunno. When it feels done. Probably 145F or so. I start it on top of the stove in a saute pan on low flame to crisp the bacon, turning until bacon is fairly crisp on all sides, then finish in a hot oven (400F+) until it feels firm to light pressure. I let it rest for about 10 minutes on a warm plate on the range top before carving.

I'll post some pictures of it tomorrow afternoon.

Cd said...

Mike: cooked up the legs and thighs tonight. It was fantastic. This is a keeper. I stuffed with onions, sage and the kidneys (used the hearts in the stock). Wrapped in bacon was phenomenal.

Can you detail how you make the sauce reduction? I deglaze the roasting pan with the stock and reduced it before adding olives, capers, and tomatoes. It was ok, but definitely the weakness of the dish. Would have liked the sauce to be a bit thicker.

Any suggestions?

Mike Pardus said...

CD- I cheat shamelessly...

make the brown rabbit stock over night. strain and reduce by about 1/2 to enrich the gelatin content.Chop an onion and some garlic, calamata olives, capers, anchovies.Sweat onions and garlic in good olive oil until they start to turn a bit golden, add brown rabbit stock,Open a JAR OF BARILLA marinara sauce...yeah, I like it plain out of the jar when I'm in a hurry too...add marinara to other stuff and simmer for a few minutes. Check seasoning and serve with the rabbit and some soft polenta.

Basically, it's a putenesca with some rabbit stock thrown in. It's good enough to stand on it's own with a loaf of crusty bread to dip into it.Needs a fruity red to accompany.

Hope this helps.

Cd said...

It would be a good time to show some demo's for classic sauces. The consumme was great. It would help us amateurs for some of the other classics: brown sauce reductions, bechamel's, au ju's, etc.

The rabbit, chicken, duck, and some beef breakdowns have been fantastic. I've since been purchasing the whole animals and experimenting with them. Some sauces to go with different dished would be greatly appreciated.

Bob del Grosso said...

Duly noted.

bigbubba said...

Bob del Grosso said..."There is no practical way to reserve rabbit livers and kidneys and fat for other applications" . Yes forget about freezing, vacuum bagging or MAP lidding. All old lost technology. :)

Bob del Grosso said...

Yo Bubba
Point taken, but I am not the author.