Rabbit Loin Saltimbocca (Saltimbocca di Coniglio)

Cuts of meat that come from different muscle groups in an animal require different cooking to make them shine. For instance, a ribeye steak is best served medium rare after a quick sear and some resting, whereas a brisket needs to be cooked low and slow to become tender and delicious to eat. Smaller animals like chickens and rabbits are often cooked whole, disregarding the wisdom gained from preparing beef in separate parts. Part of the reason for this may be that a chicken fits easier into most pans and ovens than a whole cow does 😉 A more economical reason is that if you judge by effort per pound of meat, a relatively big effort is needed to separate the different muscle groups of a small animal. Even so, it is worth doing so to get the best results. This is also true for rabbit. Rabbit loins are the ‘rib eye’ of the rabbit, they are very tender and require very little cooking. The legs and other parts however need to be braised or stewed. Even so, rabbit is often cooked whole with the loin dried out.

I thought this to be a waste of a very nice piece of meat, and so when I bought a whole rabbit I decided to do my own butchering and divide the rabbit into loins, legs, flap meat, and carcass. (Of course you can also ask your butcher to do this for you.) The latter three parts will be used for tomorrow’s recipe. The tenderloins are so small in a 1.1 kg (2.5 lbs) rabbit that they are hardly worth getting out. The loins themselves were about 160 grams together or about 14% of the weight of the rabbit.

On the same day I had bought the rabbit, I had also bought some very nice prosciutto. As I still have fresh sage growing in my garden, I decided to turn those rabbit loins into rabbit saltimboccaSaltimbocca is a famous dish from Rome consisting of veal scaloppine with prosciutto and sage. It is so delicious that it is called “jump into mouth” (salt = jump, bocca = mouth). I prefer to have a rabbit jumping in the direction of my mouth rather than a calf 😉 But seriously, this rabbit saltimbocca was absolutely delicious. The meat is super tender and succulent, and pairs very well with the prosciutto and sage. Compared to the veal version, it is a bit lighter and softer in style.

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Rabbit Sous-Vide with Mustard Sauce (Lapin à la Dijonnaise)

Stéphane from My French Heaven always has wonderful photos on his blog and recipes that are as simple as they are tasty. His recent post about his version of the French classic rabbit in mustard sauce was all the inspiration I needed to make my own sous-vide version.

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Fresh Pasta with Rabbit (Tajarin al Sugo di Coniglio)

I really liked the fresh tagliatelle with rabbit at Bussia, and so I decided to make a similar dish. Tajarin al Sugo di Coniglio is a dish from the Piemonte region, where narrow tagliatelle (taglierini) are called tajarin in the local dialect. It really brings out the delicate flavor of the rabbit, which pairs very well with the delicate pasta. I decided to enhance the rabbit flavor by using rabbit stock rather than chicken stock. Ingredients For 4 servings 1 kg (2.2 lbs) rabbit legs 1 small onion, minced 1 carrot, minced 1 celery stalk, minced 1 glass (100 ml) … Continue reading Fresh Pasta with Rabbit (Tajarin al Sugo di Coniglio)

Rabbit with tomatoes sous-vide

Rabbit is often dry and sometimes tough. By cooking the rabbit sous-vide, the meat will be very tender and moist. To be able to cook the rabbit with tomato sauce sous-vide, I use the trick to freeze the sauce before sealing it into a bag to prevent the sauce from being sucked out by the vacuum sealer. I chose to use fresh tomatoes rather than canned to preserve the delicate flavor of the rabbit. Canned tomatoes would be too strong. This dish is simple, delicious and healthy (high in protein but low in fat). Ingredients For 2 servings 2 rabbit legs … Continue reading Rabbit with tomatoes sous-vide