Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Run, Rabbit. Run.

PETA is probably going to have a cow (no harm to the cow, of course) after reading this post.

Let that be your warning, readers.

Rabbits are nice.  We associate them with Easter, springtime, cuteness, sex, and of course,
Bugs Bunny.

My experience with them today was, well...a little different.

First of all, my rabbit was dead.  Not only that, but it came in a cellophane-wrapped, cool-storage-friendly package.  In about seven parts.

Our chef-instructor told us yesterday to mentally prepare ourselves for what he called a Market Basket Activity.  Sort of like Iron Chef or Chopped, or all those other shows on Food Network I never watch.  He would give us some kind of protein, and we would have two hours to create a plated entreé.

What fun, yes?!

And so the assignments of meats began.  Two of my friends were assigned duck.  Another got tilapia.  Another was given pork belly.  Ground beef, tuna, catfish, pork tenderloin, etc., etc.  And finally, my teacher called my name.  My assigned protein?  The fabricated rabbit.

I've never cooked rabbit.  I've never eaten rabbit either.  So, preparing it was bound to be gooood times.  Thankfully, my teacher informed me that rabbit was quite lean...which told me straightaway that roasting/baking would not be a good idea.  A lean cut of meat lacks moisture (or fat that melts and moisturizes during cooking).  Grilling or broiling would probably not give me the texture or finish I was looking for.

So, I finally opted for braising.  Submerge the browned rabbit pieces in a liquid mix of beef broth, red wine, mirepoix, and for fun, chocolate and chorizo; then, place in an oven set to low for a few hours.  Easy-peasy-pleasy.  But, I still had the pesky loin pieces left...the ribs were still attached and there wasn't much meat to write home about.

What to do?  A frenched rack of rabbit, of course...with a wheat germ and herb crust.  Of course!

For plating, I also did a carrot and potato pureé, which you'll no doubt see in the pictures.

Surprisingly, the final product tasted good.  The braising renders the meat tender and yummy, and the richness of the chocolate-chorizo was present in every bite of rabbit.  The frenched rabbit was okay; I mean, it's more novelty than anything...you hardly get much to eat with the frenched rack.

But still.  It's just so darned cute.  Dead rabbit and all.  Erm.

The rack of rabbit atop the carrot and potato pureés

Same kind of presentation, but I tried being more fancy-pantsy

As you can see, plate presentation is NOT my forté.  I hope to get better at this when I go on internship in a few weeks.

In the meantime, Run, Rabbit, Run...right onto this here plate.

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