Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 61

1 small wild rabbit

1½ cups of risotto rice

6 cups of chicken stock

3 cups of brussel sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved

1 leek, washed and sliced in rounds

2 ribs of celery, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tbsp. Fines Herbs, Herbs de Province, or Italian seasoning

1 tsp. pepper

Fresh shaved Parmesan cheese

Prepping the Rabbit

Well in advance, de-bone the rabbit. This can be tricky and a bit tedious, but you won’t want bones in your risotto. There are plenty of great videos online that outline the process step by step.

I tend to brine most wild meats, but this is personal preference. If you’d like to add this step, simply mix about 2L of water with 2 tbsp. of salt. Place the rabbit meat into the brine and let sit in the fridge overnight. Right before cooking, remove the meat from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.

Rabbit Risotto

1.Heat your chicken stock in a small pot. It’s important to keep your stock hot throughout the entire process. I like to place it on a handy back burner right from the start.

2.In a large skillet, heat a tsp. of cooking oil to medium heat.

3.Gently fry the rabbit until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

4.Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside. Keep your skillet hot.

5.Throw your brussel sprouts into the skillet. Cook until tender (~8 minutes) stirring and shaking the pan frequently. Set sprouts aside and get your skillet out of the way.

6.Heat a heavy stockpot to medium/high heat and melt butter. Add chopped celery, leeks and crushed garlic to the butter. Stir and cook until the vegetables are soft (2-3 minutes).

7.Add in all of the risotto rice, your spice blend, and the pepper. Quickly stir to coat the rice with the buttery vegetables. Cook for about a minute.

8.Add a ladle of the hot chicken stock. Stir continuously until the rice has absorbed all of the stock. Add another ladle and repeat the process until your rice is tender but still has a nice “al dente” bite to it. (If you run out of stock before you reach this point it’s okay to use hot water).

9.Chop the rabbit into bite-sized chunks and gently mix into the rice. Fold in the brussel sprouts. Add more salt, pepper or seasoning to taste.

10.Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and a glass of white wine.

Rabbit risotto with buttered leeks and brussel sprouts