Friday, July 2, 2010

Rabbit: Not To Hip To Become Square

Charcuterie( from chair 'flesh' and cuit 'cooked').

Something that we have on the menu at work is a tasting of charcuterie. Cooked and cured meats. Such as; bacon, sausage, terrines, pates, ballonties, gallantines etc. Basically cured and cooked meats, that are generally eaten cold but that isn't a rule by any means.

We always have a daily terrine on our charcuterie plate to go along with Jon's stunning salamis and such. Usually Jon takes care of all of this. However, sometimes, when time permits, I like to have fun with meat as well. I wish I could get to it more often, but that's alright. Just watching how Jon can pump this stuff out with the greatest of ease is really quite something to behold.

I had two nice rabbits to make a lovely terrine out of. The process to get from rabbit to terrine is not all that hard once you learn how to de-bone the animal. To do this properly, one must get all the bones out without doing any ripping or cutting of the skin.

This is accomplished by cutting along the spine and working along the skeleton until the whole damn thing can be removed. From there the leg meat is ground into a farce, the livers are soaked overnight in milk or in this case buttermilk to draw out any excess blood and impurities. The liver is then removed from the buttermilk and diced. Then added to the farce meat along with some pork lardo, cherries and other seasonings. The terrine mold is lined with the rabbit skin, then farce is layered on the bottom, followed by the loin and then more farce. The skin is then folded over top. The whole deal is wrapped in plastic wrap and cooked in a water bath to a temperature of 150degrees. Because of the liver it is important to cook the terrine to that temperature. The terrine is then rested until cool and stored until needed. Presto chango, square rabbit. Delicious.

A little tip Shannon and I found out while in one of the large markets in Barcelona. When buying rabbits in a market, only buy the ones with heads attached. I asked why all the rabbits were hanging fur and all attached. I was told that because rabbit and cat look almost exactly the same skinned and even more alike with the heads removed, mongers always leave the head on. If they don't...your probably eating cute little "Mittens".

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