Pulling a Rabbit in Porchetta Recipe out of the Tuscany Book

It is not too late to read Lucca Olive Oil to Rigatino, Real Tuscany my interview with Mario Matassa on  Tuscany (Phaidon Press, Spring 2001)

To build your appetite for it, let me share a second recipe from the book. First one was Chesnut Cake Alla Pistoiese Recipe ...

Rabbit in Porchetta

Coniglio in Porchetta

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour for marinating

Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Serves 6

1 5 lb skinned and cleaned rabbit, boned, liver reserved

Scant 1 cup white wine vinegar

3 sprigs sage, chopped

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped

3 sprigs wild fennel, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

7  oz prosciutto, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

Scant ½ cup dry white wine

1 bay leaf

pepper

Put rabbit into a shallow dish.  Mix together the vinegar and 1 ¾ cups water, pour mixture into the dish and let marinate for 1 hour.

213 Coniglio in porchetta

Remove the rabbit from the dish, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Trim and chop liver, then mix with the sage, rosemary, fennel and garlic.  Open out the rabbit and spread half the herb mixture in the cavity.  Season generously with pepper, put the slives of prosciutto on top and sprinkle with the remaining herb mixture.

Roll up the rabbit as tightly as possible and tie with trussing thread or kitchen string.  Melt the butter with the oil in a large oval pan.  Add the rabbit and cook over mediu high-heat, turning frequently, for 10 minutes, until evenly browned.  Pour in the wine and cook for a few minutes until alcohol has evaporated. Add the bay leaf, reduce the heat, cover and simmer, adding a little hot water if necessary, for 1 ½ hours, until tender and cooked through.  Remove the pan from heat and let cool completely.  Life out the rabbit, remove and discard the string and cut into slices to serve.

(* Rabbit in Porchetta recipe and photo from Tuscany (May 2011, $39.95) reproduced by permission of the publisher Phaidon Press)

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