Braised Rabbit with Broccoli Rabe, Pearl Onions, and Cauliflower Mousse Recipe

Braised Rabbit with Broccoli Rabe, Pearl Onions, and Cauliflower Mousse Recipe
Staff Writer
Braised Rabbit
Tresanti Restaurant
Braised Rabbit

A delicious braised rabbit recipe that's perfect for a special occasion. Chef Navarria serves this dish at his restaurant Tresanti Trattoria in New York City.

Click here to see the Rabbit, the Sustainable Meat Choice story. 

Ingredients

For the braised rabbit:

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 fryer rabbits
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quart white wine
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander
  • 2 tablespoons whole black pepper
  • 2 cups veal stock

For the broccoli raab, pearl onions, and carrot batons:

  • 2 bunches broccoli raab, stems trimmed about halfway up
  • 1 cup pearl onion, peeled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 For the cauliflower mousse:

  • 2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • Salt, to taste

For the vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dry Champagne

Directions

For the braised rabbit:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the onion, celery, and 1/3 of the chopped carrots on a baking sheet and roast until charred for approximately 20 minutes. Dust the rabbit in flour and salt and pepper.

In an ovenproof braising pan over medium heat add the olive oil. Coat the pan and add the rabbit. Sear the rabbit on all sides to retain the flavor. Deglaze the pan with 1 quart white wine. Cook the alcohol out while reducing the wine by half. Add the roasted vegetables, sage, rosemary, coriander, whole black pepper. Add the veal stock. Fill the braising pan with water until the rabbit it submerged. Cover the pan with parchment paper. Bring the water to a simmer and place the braising pan in an oven at 365 degrees for 4 hours.

After the rabbit is cooked, pull 6 cups of the braising liquid from the pan. Strain through a fine mesh and reduce it in a medium sauce pan by half. Bring the liquid to a boil.

For the broccoli raab, pearl onions, and carrot batons:

Blanch the raab, carrots, and pearl onion in the braising liquid for 3 minutes. Pull out the onion from the liquid and drop into a sauté pan on medium heat until caramelized. Take out the raab and the carrots and place them into the sauté pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For the cauliflower mousse:

Boil the cauliflower until it is soft and tender. In a blender, add mascarpone cheese and cooked cauliflower and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.

For the vinaigrette:

In a blender combine honey, mustard, juice from lemon, white vinegar, and Champagne. With the blender on, slowly drizzle in olive oil until the sauce thickens.

Break the rabbit down by sections: first the saddle (the place between the hip bone and where the ribs start) can be split at the vertebra for 2 pieces. Disconnect the fore legs and the hind legs. Pick the meat from the rest of the rabbit and serve mixed into the vegetables. 

To serve, provide 1 hind leg and/or 1 foreleg or saddle per person. On a round plate, quenelle the cauliflower mousse. Place the pearl onions and broccoli raab in a nest next to the mousse. Place the rabbit sects atop the broccoli, bones facing up. Place the carrot batons "frawned" to the side of the rabbit. Ladle an ounce or 2 of the vinaigrette over the rabbit.

Rabbit Shopping Tip

Ingredients like olive oil, shallots, mustard, cream, stock, and butter will help bring French flavors to your cooking.

Rabbit Cooking Tip

French cuisine is renowned for slow-cooked sauces, however a quick pan sauce will do just as well; after sautéing a piece of meat or fish, remove it from the pan, deglaze with brandy or wine, finish with a touch of butter or cream and voilà!