Rabbit, Anson Mills Polenta, and Ramps
Yield: 2 Servings
200 grams salt
2 grams juniper berries
5 grams black pepper
3 grams coriander seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
5 grams fennel seeds
5 stalks celery
8 ramps leaves and bulbs separated
1 bottle white wine
¼ cup Anson Mills polenta integrale
1 kilogram lard
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
100 grams caul fat
For the Seasoned Rabbit:
Break the rabbit down into primal cuts. Put the salt, juniper, black pepper, coriander, lemon zest, and fennel seeds in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Take the front legs and back legs of the rabbit and season with the fennel seed mixture. Leave out of the fridge for 1 hour. French the racks, and remove the loin and tenderloin. Save the belly.
For the Rabbit Jus:
Roast the rabbit bones in a pot until golden brown. Add half of the carrots, celery, onions, and ramp leaves, and then set the remaining mirepoix and ramps aside for the Rabbit Legs, Belly and Loin. Cook the mirepoix and bones until golden brown, and deglaze with white wine. Reduce by half, and then cover with water. Simmer for 45 minutes and strain. Reduce until the jus coats the back of a spoon.
For the Anson Mills Polenta:
To cook the polenta, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and slowly stir in the polenta. Season with salt and cook covered over a low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once soft, finish with butter and a little Parmigiano-Reggiano. Keep warm.
For the Rabbit Legs:
Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Sweat the reserved carrots, celery, and onions in 2 separate pots in the lard. Once the vegetables are soft, deglaze with the white wine and cook the alcohol out. Slide the rabbit legs in and cook the mixture in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until soft. Keep the back legs warm, and remove the meat from the bone from the shoulders. Put the shoulder meat in a standing mixer with the wholegrain mustard and whip slowly with a whisk attachment. Add more of the fat from cooking until a moist consistency is reached. Add the chopped parsley and reserve.
For the Rabbit Belly and Loin:
Take the reserved rabbit belly flap and pound thin. Roll the ramp leaves and lardo around the loin and tenderloin, leaving the belly on the outside to protect the loin while it cooks. Wrap the belly in caul fat and tie with butcher’s string. When ready to serve, roast the belly and the rack to temperature, leaving them slightly translucent.
To Assemble and Serve:
Sauté the ramp bulbs from the Rabbit Jus method, and add them to the Rabbit Jus. Slice the Rabbit Rack and Rabbit Belly and Loin. Plate a piece of the back leg, a quenelle of the rillettes from the front shoulder, and spoon some polenta onto the plate. Sauce the plate with the Rabbit Jus.