Rabbit en croute with creamed cabbage and turnips, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

16 November 2011
Rabbit en croute with creamed cabbage and turnips, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

(Serves 4)

For the rabbit en croute 2 whole rabbits
1 clove of garlic
2 large sprigs of thyme
1tsp coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns
250g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
80g unsalted butter
400g good quality puff pastry
1 chicken breast
200ml double cream
1 egg white
1tsp truffle oil
2tbs chopped mixed soft herbs (tarragon, chives, chervil)
Poppy seeds
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the creamed cabbage 1 small Savoy cabbage, core removed and finely shredded
50g unsalted butter
100g smoked bacon, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced ½ cm square
1 large turnip, peeled and diced ½ cm square
100ml dry white wine
100ml chicken stock
200ml double cream
Maldon sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper

For the turnip purée 400g turnips, peeled and roughly diced
20g unsalted butter
Maldon sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper
150ml chicken stock
100ml double cream

For the rabbit en croute, joint the rabbit by removing the front and back legs, setting the loins aside. Place the legs in a vacuum pouch with the garlic, thyme, coriander seeds and peppercorns, vacuum and cook in a preheated water bath at 84°C for 9 hours. Once cooked, chill over ice.

Sauté the mushrooms in the butter with seasoning until golden brown, then drain and cool.

In a food processor blend the chicken breast with the egg white, pass the mix through a fine sieve and stir in the cream until the mix thickens, and season.

Fold in the chopped herbs, truffle oil, cooled sautéed mushrooms and flaked chilled cooked leg meat and check seasoning. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

Roll the puff pastry out about 2mm thick; use a pastry roller to mark and cut the puff pastry into 5.5cm x 6cm pieces. Place two spoonfuls of the leg mixture in the centre, cut the loins in half and place two halves into the leg meat mix, brush the sides with egg wash and fold the edges over like an envelope. Crimp the sides, flip the en croute over, brush the presentation side with egg wash and garnish with poppy seeds. Rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 20°C, place the en croutes on a lined baking tray and bake for 22-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

For the creamed cabbage, blanch the shredded cabbage in salted rapid boiling water until al-dente, then refresh in iced water.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and sauté the diced bacon, carrot and celeriac until golden. Deglaze with the wine, add the chicken stock, reduce the heat and simmer until the stock is reduced by half and the carrots and celeriac are cooked.

Add the blanched cabbage, bring the mix to the boil, add the cream and season to taste. Simmer until the cream has thickened, and serve immediately.

For the turnip purée, in a medium size saucepan melt the butter and sauté the turnips with seasoning until they start to colour slightly golden. Add the chicken stock, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cover the pan with a lid and cook until the turnips are soft and the stock nearly completely evaporated.

Add the cream, bring back to simmering point for 2 minutes, blend until a smooth purée, adjust the seasoning and keep warm until needed.

To serve, spoon the turnip purée on the plate, then add a generous amount of the creamed cabbage, cut the cooked rabbit en croute, place on top of the creamed cabbage, and serve with baby turnips and sautéed mushrooms. Serve immediately.

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