Rabbit Saddle Stuffed with Risi Bisi Recipe

Rabbit Saddle Stuffed with Risi Bisi Recipe
Staff Writer
English Peas
Istock/FuatKose

English Peas

A spring recipe served by Suzanne Goin at her restaurant Lucques. She explains that risi bisi is traditionally a risotto with peas, but that they use it with rabbit confit to the make the stuffing for this recipe. She uses rabbit saddle which you can buy as is so you won’t have to do any butchering yourself. — Yasmin Fahr

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

Ingredients

For the rabbit confit:

  • 6 cups duck fat
  • 4 rabbit legs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

For the risi bisi:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoons picked thyme leaves
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh raw English peas
  • 2 cups rabbit confit (see above)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh picked mint, roughly chopped
  • Zest of ½ lemon

For the carrot purée:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 pounds carrots, cut in ¼-inch rounds, steamed until tender

For the snap pea salad:

  • ½ cup pea shoots
  • ¼ cup sliced sugar snap peas, cut on a bias
  • ¼ cup sliced baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons blanched, English peas
  • 1 tablespoon sliced spring onion
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pistou:

  • 1 bunch basil
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

For the rabbit saddle:

  • 4 ounces caul fat (caul fat is the fatty membrane which surrounds internal organs of some animals, such as cows, sheep and pigs)
  • Butcher's twine
  • 1 tablespoon of mascarpone, for serving

Directions

For the rabbit confit:

Render the duck fat and keep warm. Season the raw rabbit legs with salt, pepper, and thyme. Marinate the legs by sitting at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the legs in a large metal roasting pan and add the hot duck fat just enough to cover the meat. Roast in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone. 

For the risi bisi:

In a large sauce pot, melt butter and sweat the onions and then add the thyme. Once the onions are translucent,add the Arborio rice. Toast the rice until the rice gets slightly golden brown. Deglaze with wine and cook until the wine has fully reduced. Add the hot chicken stock in 4-ounce increments and add the English peas with the first batch of stock so that the peas will fully cook by the time the risotto is done. Keep adding stock in batches until the rice is fully cooked to al dente. Once the risotto is done, add the rabbit confit, mint, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cool quickly on a sheet tray. Reserve for the stuffing.

For the carrot purée:

Heat a saucepot and add oil. Add onions and sweat then add the carrots and cook until they get slight color, being careful not to burn because this will make the purée brown instead of vibrant orange. Place carrots in a food processor and purée until smooth.

For the snap pea salad:

In a bowl toss together, dress with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

For the pistou:

In a blender, purée all the ingredients together until fully puréed, being careful not to purée too much, so as to not cook the herbs. This will also keep some texture in the pistou.

For the rabbit saddle:

To make the stuffed saddle, spread out the rabbit saddle and place the cooled risi bisi stuffing in the middle of the saddle. Wrap the meat around the stuffing. (Caul fat is essentially an edible wrapper.) Spread the caul fat thinly and wrap it around the stuffed rabbit saddle. Do not to double wrap with caul fat because too many layers will get too chewy. Tie with butchers twine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To cook, heat a cast iron pan. Sear all sides of the rabbit saddle until all sides are golden brown. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove and slice saddle with a sharp knife to keep the stuffing intact.

To plate, place carrot purée on a serving platter and arrange sliced rabbit on top. Place dollop of pistou and mascarpone on rabbit. Arrange salad on platter and serve.  

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!