I picked up my usual wild rabbit at the Capital Region Farmers Market and finally decided to make rabbit confit. I specify the use of wild rabbit here not just for flavour, but for the size of the legs. If you want to use a farmed rabbit, I would suggest you confit all the legs of the rabbit, and serve one front and one hind leg per person. Confit is a great cooking method to achieve amazing flavour and tenderness, but also to preserve the meat. I love to confit the meat when it’s fresh, then keep it in the fridge for a night I can’t be bothered cooking much. You can whip the confit out of the fridge and stick it in a hot oven to crisp and be rewarded with an incredible meal. I thought this particular meal was great served with roasted cauliflower and potato stacks. You could add green beans too, if you like, but I was happy sticking with things that easily went in the oven. At some point I think I’ll do this again, using the rabbit jelly to make a savoury sage and brandy sauce for the confit, but it was delicious as is; the tender cauliflower providing a lovely moistness and sweet accompaniment to the rabbit. In turn the potato stacks provide crispness that I would normally love in a traditional duck confit.
|1||bay leaf, broken up|
|2||hind legs from wild rabbit|
To serve (optional)
Combine the salt, herbs and pepperberries. Rub this mixture all over the rabbit legs, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove from the fridge, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place the rabbit snuggly in an oven proof dish and cover with duck fat. Place in the oven at 120oC for four or more hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the duck fat. When the rabbit has come to room temperature, remove the legs from the fat allowing most of the fat to drain, but leave a little on them to seal the meat. Refrigerate the rabbit legs for up to ten days. A rabbit jelly will have separated from the duck fat and fallen to the bottom of the pan. Place the fat in a container and refrigerate for future use. Store the rabbit jelly separately, you may want to freeze it for another purpose.
To serve, remove the rabbit from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 220oC. Wash your potato and thinly slice on a mandolin. Sprinkle the slices with salt and wipe several slices in the duck fat on the rabbit. Arrange the potato slices in two stacks. Place the potato stacks on a lined baking tray with the cauliflower florets. Drizzle the rest of the duck fat over the cauliflower. Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes before turning them. You want them to achieve good colour. Bake for another 10 minutes before adding the rabbit to the tray. Bake the rabbit for 10-15 minutes, turning once. When everything has a nice colour, remove from the oven and serve immediately.