Braised Rabbit With Bacon Sage Dumplings Recipe

Recipe adapted from Donald Link, Cochon

Braised Rabbit With Bacon Sage Dumplings
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Braised Rabbit with Bacon Sage Dumplings
to 8 Servings
  • Two 2½- to 3-pound rabbits
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Flour
  • Braise
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 slices thick-sliced bacon, sliced into lardons
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, sliced into 1-inch rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ bunch fresh sage
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Dumplings
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons chilled rendered bacon fat
  • Stew
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  1. Season the rabbits generously with salt and pepper. Just before cooking, dust the rabbits with flour and shake to remove excess.
  2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the shortening and bacon and cook, stirring, until the shortening has melted and the bacon has cooked halfway and rendered much of its fat. Drain the bacon fat from the skillet (strain if necessary) and refrigerate. You should have about 5 tablespoons of fat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. When the oil is very hot, add the rabbit pieces and cook until evenly browned, using tongs to turn the rabbit as necessary. When the rabbit is browned, add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with fat, then add the wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Add the sage, thyme and chicken stock. Return to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the meat pulls easily away from the bone (turning the rabbit once or twice for even cooking), about 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. While the rabbit braises, prepare the dumplings: Combine the flour, baking powder, sage, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the reserved chilled bacon fat and use your fingers to combine the flour with the fat until the mixture resembles coarse pebbles. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the water to the well. Use your fingers to work in the liquid and form dough. Knead briefly, just to combine, then shape the mixture into a ball and lightly flour the surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rough square shape, about ¼-inch thickness. Turn the dough over once if it starts to stick. Use a knife to slice the dough into 1-inch-by-4-inch pieces, then set aside. 5.Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the dumplings and boil 3 to 5 minutes, until tender; drain. Toss the dumplings with a small amount of oil to keep them from sticking together, then set aside.
  5. When the rabbit is done cooking, use tongs to transfer it to a baking dish. Strain the braising liquid, reserving the broth and discarding the vegetables. Skim the fat from the liquid and set aside. Use your fingers to separate the rabbit meat from the bone, feeling carefully for any small bones, and set aside.
  6. Over medium-high heat, warm the reserved braising fat and ⅓ cup vegetable oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onion, parsnips, poblano, carrot, celery, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mustard and wine and cook, stirring, until the pan is deglazed and most of the wine has evaporated. Add the reserved broth, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the reserved rabbit meat and simmer an additional 20 minutes.
  7. To finish the dish, add the cooked dumplings, stir together just until warmed through, and serve. If you are not going to serve the entire dish at once, serve the dumplings in a bowl and ladle the hot stew over the top, so the dumplings don't overcook and become mushy.
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