This remarkable rabbit recipe from Pascal Aussignac is a colourful dish, with the rabbit, squash and papaya flavors an absolutely sensational combination. The rabbit sauce calls for prune and carrot juice, which brings a unique richness to the roasted game meat.
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Begin this rabbit recipe by butchering the rabbit. Remove the front and back legs from the rabbit. Using a thin-bladed sharp knife, cut off the loin fillets in 2 whole pieces from the saddle. Cover with cling film and set the meat aside in the fridge. Keep all the trimmings, bones, liver and heart for the sauce
To make the sauce, preheat a large pot or saucepan on medium-high heat with enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan
Crush the bones of the rabbit with a rollin pin and roughly chop the rabbit heart and liver. Brown the bones in the heated saucepan along with the heart and liver
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and simmer until reduced--about 5 minutes. Add the Armagnac and cook until the pan is nearly dry
200ml of dry white wine
2 tbsp of Armagnac
Add the chopped leek, carrot, onion and crushed garlic to the saucepan and cook with the bones for 10 minutes until softened. Add the water, thyme and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Bring the pan to the boil and simmer gently for around 1 hour, or until the liquid has been reduced by half. Add the prune and carrot juices, then the sugar, and boil the sauce down gently until it has again been reduced by half--about 30-45 minutes
500ml of prune juice
100ml of carrot juice
1 tbsp of sugar
Strain the sauce from the large pan into another saucepan and set aside
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6
Remove the rabbit legs from the fridge and season with salt. Brown the rabbit legs in a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Transfer the legs to a roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes until the meat is tender. Once roasted, set aside the legs to rest for 5 minutes
1 tbsp of olive oil
While the legs cook, prepare the butternut squash and papaya. Peel, deseed and cut the squash and papaya into small cubes. Sauté the squash in a large saucepan with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes
1 butternut squash
2 pinches of saffron
3 tbsp of olive oil
Add the papaya cubes to the squash and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Add the saffron and salt to taste. When soft, place the squash and papaya into a blender and blend to a thick purée. Once blended, pour the squash and papaya purée back into the saucepan to reheat later
Sauté the rabbit fillets in a small frying pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Once cooked, season with salt to taste
3 tbsp of olive oil
To serve, reheat the squash and papaya purée and divide the mixture among 4 warm plates. Place a rabbit leg on top of each plate. Slice the fillets on the diagonal into medallions and divide among the plates. Reheat the sauce and spoon around the rabbit meat
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