Got me a farmed rabbit. cut it up into bits. rubbed with OO and fresh lemon thyme. In a pan with a litre of veal stock and half a dozen or so chat potatoes. Whacked it in the wood-fired oven after it had been used for pizzas.. temp probably about 200C when it went in. Left it in for 10 hours.
Temp on removing it was probably 50-75C.
Let it sit in the pan juices all day in the fridge.
Back in the conventional oven the next night, 150C, until the pan juices came to a gentle simmer.
Removed wabbit pieces (they were fall-apart tender) to rest, and the potatoes. Added sour cream and bacon pieces to the pan juices.
Reduced on the stove top to a gravy consistency.
Wabbit and tatties back in pan to heat thru.
Potatoes were AMAZING, sauce was OUT OF THIS WORLD!
Not so good. Even though it was falling off the bone, it was dry and stringy and a bit naaaaasty.
I paid $14 AUD for the damn thing (Much to huntin' and fishin' Furry husbands chagrin), and buggered it up royally.
Where did I go wrong??
You WAY overcooked this bunny! Rabbit is very lean, and it's very easy to overcook it. Plus, the 200 degree Celsius roast was entirely too high.
PG, I have cooked 40 pound whole suckling pigs in those conditions.
Had there been an obit for your poor wabbit in the local paper, it would have included a frequently-used last line: "there was cremation"...:)
The oven was rapidly cooling when I put poor Bugs in....and I was told that slow cooking wabbit was the way to go. **insert embarrassed icon here **
The pan was well covered with foil, if that redeems me at all....
And the pan juices made a most excellent gravy.
So.. what next time? (If, at $14AUD there IS a next time)
re: purple goddess
Slow cooking is a great way to go if you want to go all the way and make a ragù. For the next time, you might try an easy, quick, tasty French prep:
Cut up a small (around 1 kg) rabit, brown the pieces for 10 minutes in 3,5 tablespoons of butter. Add a minced onion, a minced shallot, a minced clove of garlic, half a pound of minced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, add a glass of white wine, and cook for about 15 minutes, partially covered. And that's it! And do include the kidneys and liver, they're sooooo good.
I usually braise the legs and grill the loins. Loins cook quickly so better for grilling. As for braising, I like to finish it with mustard and cream after reducing the liquid.
I recommend dry brining the rabbit overnight with kosher salt then soaking it into milk to remove the salt for a few hours. This way it will be more tender and juicer.