Cooking With Game

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    Wild rabbit and crayfish mousse.

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    Wild rabbit and crayfish mousse.

    Post  Admin on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:23 pm

    Ingredients
    For the crayfish mousse:
    500g 17¾ oz live freshwater crayfish
    50g 1¾ oz white fish, such as turbot
    2 pinches of salt
    Pinch of white pepper
    Small pinch of cayenne pepper
    1 egg yolk
    25 ml1 fl oz double cream
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    For the pumpkin purée:
    50 g1¾ oz butter, softened
    200 g7 oz chopped pumpkin or butternut squash
    50 ml1¾ fl oz double cream
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    For the stuffed rabbit loins:
    2 whole rabbits, each boned and prepared into loin, saddle, legs, liver and kidneys (ask your butcher to prepare them for you)
    4 slices of Parma ham
    For the roasted rabbit saddles:
    1 tbsp olive oil
    25 g1 oz unsalted butter, diced
    2 rabbit saddles
    For the rabbit kidneys:
    2 rabbit kidneys
    Knob of unsalted butter
    1 tsp olive oil
    For the mushrooms:
    50 g1¾ oz butter, diced
    200 g7 oz mixed wild mushrooms, such as girolles, trompettes or pieds bleu
    2 small shallots, peeled and finely diced
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    Squeeze of lemon juice
    For the crayfish stock (optional):
    Reserved heads and shells from the freshwater crayfish (from the mousse above)
    25 ml1 fl oz olive oil
    25 ml1 fl oz brandy
    1½ L fish stock (or you could use water)
    75 ml2¾ fl oz white wine
    1 bouquet garni with strips of celery, thyme, onion, garlic and leek tied together with string
    1 tomato, chopped
    6 whole black peppercorns
    ½ star anise
    ½ lemon
    For the confit rabbit leg (optional):
    200 g7 oz sea salt blitzed with 1 bay leaf, 2 peeled garlic cloves, sprigs of rosemary and thyme
    2 rabbit back legs
    Goose fat, to cover the legs
    For the rabbit stock (optional):
    Bones and head from the rabbit
    2 L chicken stock or water
    100 ml3½ fl oz dry white wine
    1 bouquet garni with strips of celery, thyme, onion, garlic and leek tied together with string
    12 whole black peppercorns
    150 ml5¼ fl oz red wine
    25 g1 oz unsalted butter
    For the beignets (optional):
    2 rabbit legs
    20 g¾ oz rabbit liver
    10 g¼ oz rabbit heart
    10 g¼ oz rabbit kidney
    25 g1 oz butter
    1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
    1 small chilli, de-seeded and chopped
    1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
    1 tsp chopped chives
    1 tsp chopped parsley
    ½ tsp chopped coriander
    Squeeze of lemon
    4 cooked crayfish tails
    500 ml17½ fl oz vegetable oil
    For the two sauces (optional):
    50 g1¾ oz unsalted butter
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
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    Method.

    For the crayfish mousse:
    1Blanch the live crayfish for 1 minute in boiling water and refresh in iced water. Remove the shells from the tails and the digestive tract from the tail meat. Then put the tail meat into a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and blend to a purée. Push through a sieve. Divide the mixture between two pieces of cling film and roll into two 2cm-diameter by 12.5cm-long sausages, taking care not to catch the cling film in the mousse. Wrap in cling film again to secure each sausage, then poach for 6 minutes in simmering water. Transfer to iced water to cool.
    For the pumpkin purée:
    2Melt the butter over a low heat in a pan and add the pumpkin or butternut squash. Cook gently for about 15 minutes until soft. Transfer to a food processor, add the cream and blend to a purée, adding the nutmeg and some salt and pepper. Strain through a sieve then set aside, keeping the purée warm.
    For the stuffed rabbit loins:
    3Butterfly the loins by slicing them down the centre, cover each loin with cling film and roll out slightly. Remove the cling film. Season the insides with salt and pepper, then roll each one around half the chilled crayfish mousse. Wrap in the Parma ham and roll in two layers of cling film to make sure you have two firm sausages, twisting the ends to keep them compact. Poach in simmering water for about 4 minutes, turning occasionally to check they are still intact, until the centre is piping hot. To test this, insert a sharp knife into the centre of one roll, remove and test the temperature of the blade on the back of your wrist. Remove from the water and rest in a warm place.
    For the roasted rabbit saddles:
    4Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas 6). Heat a pan and add the oil and butter. Briefly colour the saddles then roast them in the oven for 3 minutes. Leave to rest in a warm place.
    For the rabbit kidneys:
    5Season the kidneys with salt and pepper then sauté for 30 seconds on each side in butter and oil. Keep warm.
    For the mushrooms:
    6Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the mushrooms with the shallots and garlic for 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and, at the last minute, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
    To serve:
    7Remove the cling film from the poached loins and carve at an angle to reveal the crayfish mousse. Carve the saddles into cutlets. Cut the kidneys in half and arrange on the plate with the loin slices and saddle cutlets. Scoop quenelles of the pumpkin purée onto the plates and garnish with sautéed mushrooms. The chef suggests serving this dish with beignets made from the rabbit legs. For extra flavour in the crayfish mousse and to make two sauces, you may also wish to make crayfish and rabbit stocks; and you could confit the leg meat for greater tenderness.
    For the crayfish stock (optional):
    8Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas 6). Put the crayfish tails in a roasting tin, sprinkle with the olive oil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the bones and add to a stock pot. Deglaze the pan with the brandy. Cover the bones with fish stock or cold water and add the deglazing juices and white wine and bring to the boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming regularly. Strain through muslin, return the stock into a clean pan and boil again for about 2 hours to reduce by 90 per cent, skimming the stock occasionally. Add 1 dessertspoon to the crayfish mousse when adding the remaining ingredients in a food processor.
    For the confit rabbit leg (optional):
    9Rub the blitzed salt mixture over the rabbit legs, cover with cling film then leave to marinade for 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 100°C (Gas 1/2). Wash the legs thoroughly to remove all salt, then pat dry. Place in a roasting tin, cover in goose fat and roast for about 2 hours until meat starts to fall off the bone. Remove from the goose fat and drain. Then flake the meat from bone when just cool enough to work with.
    For the rabbit stock (optional):
    10Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas 6). Put the rabbit bones in a roasting tin and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and put the bones in a stock pot with enough chicken stock or water to cover. Deglaze the roasting tin with the white wine, add the juices to the stock pot, then bring to the boil. Add the bouquet garni and peppercorns and simmer for 2 hours, skimming regularly. Strain the stock through muslin, return to a clean pan, add the red wine and boil again for about 11/2 hours to reduce by three quarters, skimming the stock occasionally. Add 1 tbsp of the stock to the beignets after the shallots and garlic are cooked through.
    For the rabbit beignets (optional):
    11Bone and mince or finely chop the rabbit legs and finely chop the liver, kidney and heart. Heat the butter in a pan and add the minced and chopped meat together with shallot, kidney and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook 2–3 minutes until browned. Add 1 tbsp of water and cook for 1 minute until the liquor is absorbed by the meat. Stir in the herbs and lemon juice. Remove from the heat and form the mixture into four ‘bricks’, placing a cooked crayfish tail alongside each one. Chill to set.
    12Heat the oil to 170°C in a large pan or a deep fryer. Form the mixture into balls or rectangles, dust with flour and dip into the tempura batter and then deep fry until golden.
    13For the two sauces, bring the reduced rabbit stock to the boil, whisk in 25g of the butter and season to taste. Then bring the reduced crayfish stock to the boil, whisk in the remaining butter and season to taste.

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