Today we held a lunch for Tasmanian Slow Food group in which rabbit was the main course. I thought I would attempt a bit of an impromptu rabbit cooking tutorial forgive me for my shaky pics! I use the NZ Whites from Farmgro Rabbits here in Petcheys Bay. Some people have misgivings about farmed rabbit having little or no flavour, I have to disagree as these really are tasty.
Then I add some chopped carrot, onion, celery, garlic & bay leaves & a liberal splash of good olive oil(Ooh my old trade teachers would be impressed, I've finally mastered 'the Macedoine')
I then return them to the oven to caramelize the vege, before adding some stock or in this case white wine to the trays before sealing very tightly with foil & cook in the oven for a further 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 150C.
Once cooled sufficiently & this takes at least one to two hours, I remove the foil & & let it rest completely.
For the gnocchi I used a good floury spud like a Kennebec which are around at the moment. I boil until well cooked the drain until the potato is very dry before passing through a ricer or moule. This 'cuts' the potato's starches which helps stop it from becoming gluey when we add the flour. I add about 1/3 of flour & some salt to the volume of potato & mix it quickly as to keep the starch from becoming to active.
Working in an Italian restaurant as an apprentice the chef demonstrated this very fast way of making gnocchi, I think from memory it was called 'Parisienne' which consisted of potato mixed with an amount of choux pastry & was piped directly into boiling salted water. To this day it is my preffered way of making it as it is so fast!
Finally the rabbit is cool enough to handle & patience is rewarded because if you try to get the meat off the frames when it is still hot, the chances are it will lose its unctuousness & become dry & stringy. Because I was using whole rabbits I decided to place the meat in a thin veloute based sauce. This method enables any drier pieces of meat like the backstrap to be coated in a smooth layer of sauce which makes it more palatable. This sauce was from the pan juices & vegetables with more white wine, heaps of tarragon & some grain mustard that I had made earlier. Despite the mustard & tarragon being big flavours, it still tasted primarily if rabbit, which is of course what I wanted.