Bistro 218’s Tom Saab shares a super food recipe.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Rabbit is a very nutritious meat. It is high in protein, amino acids, and vitamins. And it is low in cholesterol and calories. Bistro 218 chef and owner, Tom Saab’s grilled and braised rabbit recipe employs the classical techniques of braising and the redundant use of mirepoix, sometimes know as the trinity of French cooking.
1 Fresh farm raised rabbit
2 Large onions, peeled and chopped
2 Large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Celery stalk, leaves removed and chopped, plus one rib, finely diced
3 Baby carrots peeled, diced and blanched
½ Red Onion, minced and blanched
1 Parsnip, small diced and blanched ½ Parsnip, cut into long strips using a vegetable peeler, for frying
1 cup red wine 3 quarts water for the stock
2 Cups rabbit stock for the braise plus 2 ounces for the finishing sauce (recipe below)
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Ounces veal glace
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 Italian parsley sprigs for garnish
Butcher the rabbit separating the front and hind quarters, belly flap, loin and liver from the bones. Discard the kidneys. Reserve the loin and liver. Make a stock by roasting the bones in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. In a 4-quart stockpot combine two quarts cold water and one chopped carrot, one chopped celery, and one chopped onion. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for two hours.
In a Dutch oven combine the remaining chopped carrot, celery, onion, two cups rabbit stock and red wine. Season the leg quarters and bellies of the rabbit with salt and pepper. Sear the quarters and bellies until lightly browned over high heat. Place the browned rabbit in the Dutch oven. Place in a 350-degree oven for 2.5 hours to braise. Using a vegetable peeler, peel parsnip and fry at 325 degrees for four to five minutes.
Remove the braised rabbit from the Dutch oven dividing equally onto the center of two plates. Each plate should contain a front and rear quarter and a belly. Discard the braising liquid and vegetables. Lightly season the reserved loin and liver with salt and pepper. Char grill the loin to medium rare. When the loin is almost done grill the liver to rare. In a fry pan combine the blanched vegetables, four ounces rabbit stock and four ounces veal glace. Bring to a simmer, turn off the heat, and stir in softened butter and chopped parsley. Pour the sauce over the braised portion of the rabbit. Place the grilled portions on top of the sauce and garnish with Italian parsley and fried parsnip. Yield: Two Servings
Published, magazine, February 2015