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Gala Tasting Menu

Emerald Family Farms' Rabbit-Fennel Sausage with Sweet Potato Purée and Apple Choucroute
Chef Joseph "Jay" Comfort of Poste — Washington, D.C.
Adapted by StarChefs

Wine Pairing:
Pinot Gris, Grove Mill 2002 (New Zealand)

Yield: approximately 16 (2 ½ ounce) sausage links


    For the Sausage:
  • 1 ½ pounds rabbit leg and loin meat, well cleaned, patted dry
  • 1 pound chicken thigh meat with fat attached
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1 ounce non fat dry milk
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon rose sea salt
  • ¼ cup shallot, minced, blanched and well drained
  • ¾ cup baby fennel, finely diced, blanched and well drained
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, finely minced, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup ice cold water
  • 1 ounce sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon ground caraway
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, finely grated
  • 1 (25 millimeter) hank of lamb casing

  • For the Choucroute (Yield: 8 side-dish servings)
  • 4 cups apple cider, clear, reduced by 3/4
  • 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces applewood smoked bacon, cut into small dice
  • ¼ cup reserved bacon fat
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large head of Napa cabbage
  • 2 fresh chayote squash, julienne
  • 2 tart apples, julienned
  • 2 teaspoons crushed juniper berries, or to taste
  • Kosher sale and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste

  • For Sweet Potato Puree
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, brushed with oil, covered, baked whole, and cooled
  • 1 cup Idaho potato puree
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Brown sugar and allspice, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Note: All ingredients and preparation tools must be well chilled in the refrigerator before setting to work.

Prepare the Meat:
Clean the chicken thigh meat. Remove any remaining bones, cartilage, or sinew. Cube the meat into manageable pieces for the grinder. Reserve any fat.

Clean the rabbit meat. Remove any bones and sinew. Select some rabbit meat to be used for garnish. Cut this garnish meat into pieces approximately ¾ inch by 3/8 inch. Place the garnish meat into the refrigerator. Cube the remaining rabbit meat into manageable pieces for the grinder.

In a grinder or food processor, use a fine die and grind the chicken thigh meat and the rabbit meat. Put the ground meat in the refrigerator to chill.

In a bowl, combine the dry spices, the non fat dry milk, salt and the rose sea salt. Add the ice water and whisk thoroughly to combine. Set aside.

In a separate container, set aside the blanched fennel and shallot.

In the 6 quart bowl of a stand mixture, combine the ground chicken and rabbit meat, the reserved spice mixture and the eggs. Blend mixture on low speed until all ingredients are well combined. Increase the speed to high and slowly add the cream. When the mixture is emulsified and the cream is thoroughly incorporated reduce the speed to low. Add the reserved vegetables and the chilled cubed rabbit meat. Blend mixture until everything is well combined. Place the mixture into the refrigerator.

Before refrigerating, remove a small amount of the sausage mixture and pan fry or poach to check the seasoning. If the seasoning is good, pipe the sausage mixture into the lamb casing. Twist the casing to create 2 – 2 1/2 ounce links and perforate with a sausage prick.

In a shallow sauté pan, bring water to 180 degrees. Also, fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Poach the sausages in the 180 degree water until they reach the desired doneness. Remove the cooked sausages from the pan and immediately plunge into the iced water to stop the cooking. Cut apart the finished links, pat dry, and brush with canola oil or olive oil if desired. Store sausages covered in the coldest part of the refrigerator until ready to use.

Prepare the Choucroute:
In a small sauté pan over low heat, render the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp but not burnt. Remove from the heat, drain and reserve ¼ cup of the bacon fat. Set aside the bacon lardons until needed.

In a large heavy-bottomed braising pan, heat the canola oil and the bacon fat. Add the onion and sauté until it is slightly browned and sweet. Add the juniper berries and black pepper. Continue to cook until the mixture becomes very fragrant. Add the apple and sauté until it is slightly brown. Then add the Napa cabbage and allow to wilt slightly. Add the chayote and then add the reduced cider and red wine vinegar. Cover, remove from the heat, and allow to steam. Season with sugar and kosher salt, to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Prepare Sweet Potato Puree:
Cut the sweet potatoes into manageable pieces. Process the sweet potatoes through a food mill into a large bowl. Add the Idaho potato puree and blend together well.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, heavy cream, and the scraped vanilla bean seeds and the bean. When the mixture is warm, remove the bean husk. Pour the mixture into the potatoes and whisk to combine. Season with brown sugar if needed and allspice and salt, to taste. Spoon the puree into a pastry bag and keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve:
Remove the sausage from the refrigerator. In a non-stick pan, brown the sausage and heat thoroughly.

Pipe a small amount of sweet potato puree onto the plate and rest the sausage against it, pressing into the potatoes. With a slotted spoon, drain the choucroute and place a small amount in the curve of the sausage. Sauce with a citrus seasoned mustard cream. Garnish with chervil.