Rabbit ballotine, caramelised cauliflower, vegetables a la Greque

25 June 2010 by
Rabbit ballotine, caramelised cauliflower, vegetables a la Greque

This recipe was contributed by Daniel Birk, head chef at Devonshire Fell in Burnsall, Skipton, North Yorkshire, and a 2010 Acorn Award winner.


(Serves six)

• 2 wild rabbits, skinned and gutted
• 150g chicken, diced
• 1 egg
• 300ml double cream
• 1 sprig of tarragon, leaves picked and chopped
• 1tsp truffle paste
• 1tbs duck fat
• 1 sprig of rosemary
• 2 bulbs of garlic, crushed
• 1 cauliflower
• 1 tbs rapeseed oil
• 1 spring cabbage
• 2 shallots, sliced
• 125g butter
• 250ml chicken stock
• 1tsp sherry vinegar
• 300ml olive oil
• 200ml white wine vinegar
• 100ml vegetable stock
• 100g broad beans
• 50g haricot vert
• 1 carrot, diced in ½cm cubes
• 1 punnet of shimeji mushrooms
• Salt and black pepper

To garnish
• Red amaranth and frisée


Remove the rabbit legs and salt for 1 hour 30 minutes, de-bone the saddle and divide into four loins.

For the chicken mousse: blitz the chicken in a food processor with the egg. Slowly add the double cream. Once fully blitzed, pass through a fine sieve and add the tarragon and truffle paste, season with salt and black pepper, then leave in the fridge for 1 hour.

For the ballotine: Rinse the salt off the rabbit legs, vac pac them with the duck fat, rosemary and garlic, and cook in a water bath for 1 hour 45 minutes at 90°C.

Blanch six leaves of spring cabbage and refresh in iced water. Dry on a cloth and remove the main vein, then using a rolling pin, roll them flat inside the cloth to remove all moisture. Lay out cling film on a work surface, double it over, and lay pieces of spring cabbage on top.

Once the rabbit legs are cooked, rest them for 10 minutes, then refresh. Dice the leg meat and mix with the chicken mousse. Spread a thin layer of mousse over half the cabbage, then place on two loins, top to tail, and cover with plenty of mousse. Repeat with the next two loins, so opposite ends are on top. Cover with the rest of the mousse and mould into a round shape. Roll the ballotine tightly in cling film, then vac pac and cook at 68°C for 35 minutes. Once cooked, refresh in iced water. Leave in fridge until ready to slice.

For the caramelised cauliflower: cut into small pieces and set aside a couple of florets. Heat the rapeseed oil to a high heat and caramelise the cauliflower until lightly browned. De-glaze with a splash of water. Add the shallots and cook until softened. Add the butter and cook for a further 10 minutes. Cover with chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a Thermomix, blitz on speed 10 for 10 minutes until smooth. Season with salt and sherry vinegar and pass through a fine sieve. Pour into a sauce bottle.

For the à la Grecque vegetables: mix the olive oil, white wine vinegar and vegetable stock together, season with a little salt. Blanch the broad beans and haricot vert in salted boiling water, and refresh in iced water. Pop the broad beans out of their shells and cut the haricot beans into 1cm batons. Cut the reserved florets into small pieces. Warm half the à la Greque dressing and add the carrot, cauliflower and shimeji mushrooms and cook until al dente.

To serve: Slice the ballotine into 2cm thick pieces and place in the centre of each plate. Place the dressed beans and carrots around the plate with dots of caramelised cauliflower in between. Rub a drop of the dressing on top of the ballotine to give a shine and garnish with red amaranth and frisée leaves.

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