I think i have mentioned my new hobby that is charcuterie. This hobby pretty much means that i am using the entire animal to create food. A rillette is a preservation technique that is economical and flavorful. It is a standard method of french cooking. It is a type of meat, in this case, rabbit, that is long simmered with herbs and other aromatics, then pounded into a spreadable paste.
When I process a rabbit, I cut off the back of the rabbit (behind the ribcage) and use it for various rabbit dishes. But the front end of a rabbit is a huge pain! The ribcage has so many little bones in it, and their isn’t a ton of meat for payoff for the work. So, the perfect solution is a rillette. There are a ton of rillette recipes, but this is my take from what I had in the pantry.
5 rabbit front ends
4 cloves of garlic
3 Bay leaves
About 1/4 cup if duck fat
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 c beer (used an Oktoberfest)
1. Rub the outside of the rabbit front ends in salt and let them sit in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.
2. Heat the oven to 205 degrees
3. Place the 5 rabbit fronts into an oven proof pot (I use a Dutch oven)
4. Add all ingredients but the water to the pot
5. Fill the pot until the rabbit is submerged
6. Put the pot in the oven and bake for 12 hours
7. Remove the pot from the oven, take out the bay leaves. Remove the rabbit from the broth (reserve broth)
8. Start picking the bones out of the rabbit
9. Use a mixer or your hands to pulverize the meat together.
10. Add the broth slowly back into the rabbit until it cannot take anymore liquid back in… usually about 2 to 3 cups
11. Put the rillette into glass containers. I used mason jars. Optionally, you can cover them in fat to preserve a loooong time.
And you are left with an amazing rabbit stock broth for soups!