Tasty and Mediterranean, the rabbit becomes the ‘gourmet’ star of this classic French recipe
In the fifteenth century, the Gaulish people of Le Mans already made the Rillete, a type of terrine that they came to call “poor people’s pate”, because of its bulky texture compared to a traditional pâté that usually presents more consistency and is thicker.
It is true that modern pâtés and terrines usually contain less fat, although originally, the ratio was based on twice as much meat for a portion of fat to get every bite to melt in the mouth.
Made with pork, rabbit, duck or even fatty fish such as mackerel, trout or salmon, the rillete consists in sinking a meat in fat with some aromatics such as rosemary, thyme, sage … and simmer for several hours until the meat can be shred.
Its result is ideal to share among friends and eat it with your hands. Let yourself be seduced!
How to Make a Rabbit Rillette with Armagnac
Ingredients for 6 people
100 g smoked bacon
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
1 thyme branch
1 garlic head
10 grains of black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
For the fresh herbal salad
Salt and pepper
Clean and chop the rabbit. Reserve the legs and shoulders. With the remaining pieces, you can prepare exquisite recipes like rabbit rice with aromatic herbs or floured and fried, or also, stews.
In a pot, place the legs and shoulders with a piece of bacon and aromatics. Cover with extra virgin olive oil. To confite – this technique consists of covering food with some fat – at very low fire during approximately 4 hours or until the meat is unattached to the bone and it shreds perfectly.
Once the cooking is finished, let it cool down and with your hands shred the meat removing all the bones. Cut the bacon in small pieces and mix it with the rabbit meat.
Prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and on top of it, place another cold bowl we have had previously had in the freezer to make the sauce emulsify more easily. And with the help of a few rods, add the olive oil of the confit in the form of yarn and beat with energy to achieve a dense sauce, as if it were a traditional alioli. This sauce retains all the flavor of the rabbit’s juices and aromatic herbs.
Once finished, add the meat, a few drops of Armagnac, chopped chives and mix with the sauce. Then, store it in the fridge.
After this, cut a few leaves of parsley, cilantro, twigs of chives, leeks in julienne and thin slices of radishes. Mix and store in the fridge too.
Finishing and presentation
In a terrine, we will place the cold rabbit rillete and on top of it, we will have the herbal salad. This combination will be ideal as it will refresh the mouth between bite and bite. Accompany with toasted rye or whole bread.
“Harmonies in Flavors and Fragrances” by Juan Muñoz Ramos
“The terrine always concentrates the flavors, in this case, of the rabbit and Armagnac with a point of freshness contributed by the vegetables. Two elements to play with, equal in intensity, to contribute balance and to maintain the flavors”
S.Pellegrino and Orube AE. A bubble that tastes like fresh fruit with fine woods, in combination with a tasty and mediterranean meat. Spring flavors on the plate and in the glass.
Two qualities that together exalt and maintain the quality of a perfect trio: water-wine-dish. Cheers!
If you want to give it a different spin, change the aromatics for citrus skins like orange, lemon or grapefruit.