Gallery: Cooking Rabbit at Locanda Verde

Roasted Rabbit Ripiene
Roasted Rabbit Ripiene
Before we get stated, behold the final dish. I dare you to say "Roasted Rabbit Ripiene" ten times fast.
Breaking down the rabbit
Breaking down the rabbit
The dish starts with a whole bunny, but none of it will be wasted.
Breaking down the rabbit
Breaking down the rabbit
Removing the saddle of the rabbit.
Start with a good sear
Start with a good sear
The legs and thighs are first seared in hot oil.
Searing
Searing
Onions, carrots, celery, and fresh herbs are added. Once these fry for a bit, wine and chicken broth are added to the pan and left to braise.
Heart and liver
Heart and liver
The liver and heart are seared separately—remember, we're not wasting any bunny!
Heart and liver
Heart and liver
...and deglazed/burst into flames with a splash of brandy.
Score the saddle
Score the saddle
The saddle of the rabbit is cut thin and scored for extra pliability when it gets stuffed and rolled up.
The saddle
The saddle
MASH IT!
Stuffing
Stuffing
Pine nuts, bread crumbs, Parmesan, mushrooms, shallots, herbs, and and the chopped liver and heart that we were searing earlier are mixed together to form the mushroom farce filling...
Stuffing
Stuffing
...like so.
Stuffing
Stuffing
You can imagine what happens next....
Stuffing
Stuffing
....ta-da!
The roll
The roll
To help hold everything together, the bunny roll is wrapped up in caul fat—a thin membrane of fat that covers the internal organs of certain animals (pigs, sheep, cows). It's like lace made of fat. Nature really thought of everything.
The roll
The roll
All wrapped up!
More searing
More searing
The beautiful thing about caul fat is that it melts away during cooking. So while it starts out holding your meat roll together, it ends up moistening and flavoring your food with extra fat. Pretty sweet deal.
Even more searing
Even more searing
Some fresh herbs (rosemary!) are added as the rabbit gets nice and browned. There is some great Maillard reaction-ing going on there.
Slicing
Slicing
The roll is carefully sliced into perfect rabbit medallions.
Seasonal vegetables
Seasonal vegetables
A medley of vegetables have been braising separately to accompany the rabbit.
All sliced up and ready to go!
All sliced up and ready to go!