Rabbit with cider, chanterelles and mashed potatoes with camembert

Rabbit with cider, chanterelles and mashed potatoes with camembert Venison last week, rabbit this week.  It may seem that I’ve gotten into a “game period“. Don’t fear though,I’m about to change subjects soon, just not this week. The reason is...

Rabbit with cider, chanterelles and mashed potatoes with camembert
Rabbit with cider, chanterelles and mashed potatoes with camembert

Venison last week, rabbit this week.  It may seem that I’ve gotten into a “game period“. Don’t fear though,I’m about to change subjects soon, just not this week. The reason is that I joined a cooking competition!  Please do not imagine a “hell´s kitchen“ kind of scenario.   This one was organised by a cooking magazine and supported by one of my favorite chefs in Prague, Riccardo Lucque. In the end you may win some cooking tools but that´s not the reason for my attendance. The magazine´s editor will choose one recipe and the winner will have the opportunity to prepare the dish with Riccardo!

It’s not my first competition in the culinary world.  When I was about sixteen years old, I sent a recipe for “aubergines al forno“ to a morning TV show. I totally forgot about it until a week later one of my classmate said “Oh! Didn’t know you liked cooking? Nice recipe this morning. Congrats!“  I remember how happy I was, searching for the morning show on the Internet. I had won a huge basket of Italian products and being my first successful culinary experience, if I had won a 100 kilos of apples, I would have been happy.

This recipe is not about aubergines though. I was supposed to prepare a French dish and snap a photo of it and my family. With rabbit as my base, I began wondering about ingredients that would make it “French enough“(although I worked with the whole rabbit,I adapted the recipe using only rabbit thighs so as to end up with 4 equal portions). Adding cider, chanterelles and Camembert and adapting the rest to the dish, I felt I had a recipe that could be chosen as French in the competition. The taste was amazing….. the sweet and sour touch of cider, tender meat, creamy potatoes. We took a photo of the presentation with my family, it was published as a French recipe in the competition and only then did I discover it was one of those contests that you could sit all day long voting for yourself with no limitations.   Some recipes had over thousands votes already!  What a shame that I´m not the type to sit at the computer and vote all day for myself. But please, you enjoy it as if it were the winning recipe!

Martina

Rabbit with cider, chanterelles and mashed potatoes with camembert

Ingredients for 4 servings 

  • 4 rabbit thighs
  • 30 g bacon
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 30 g piece of celery
  • 250 ml cider
  • 150 ml of cream
  • Thyme sprig for garnish

- Chanterelle sauce -

  • 3 handfuls of fresh chanterelles
  • 30 g Black Forest ham
  • 3 Tbsp of vinegar
  • butter, salt , pepper

Bacon and Chantarelles
Bacon and Chantarelles

- Mashed potatoes -

  • 500 g potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 1 Camembert

Camembert
Camembert

Directions

1. Peel onion and garlic and chop finely. Peel also carrots and celery and cut into cubes about 1/2 cm in diameter.

2.  Cut the bacon in cubes about ½ cm large and sauté on a low heat with onions and garlic. When almost tender add the celery and carrots and sauté for another 2 minutes .

3. Meanwhile, season the rabbit thighs with salt and pepper. Heat the other pan with a little oil on maximum heat and fry the tights on each side until golden brown. Do not leave meat to fry on one side for too long as it may lose its juices.

Rabit on a baking sheet
Rabit on a baking sheet

4.  Add cider to sautéed vegetables and season with salt. Add the sprig of thyme and pre-cooked rabbit. Simmer on very low heat for 1-2 hours (depending on the size and the age of rabbit).

5. When the meat falls off the bone remove the rabbit thighs from the pan along with the thyme. Pass the rest of the sauce through a sieve, add cream, season with additional salt if necessary and reheat.

- Chanterelle sauce -

Chantarelles
Chantarelles

1. Wash chanterelles and blanche in salted water with 3 tablespoons of vinegar for about 10 minutes.Drain well.

2. In a pan with a little butter fry ??Black Forest ham cut in stripes, add blanched chanterelles, sauté a little, pour in some water and simmer for 5 minutes. Finally, season with salt and pepper.

Mashed potatoes with Camembert -

1. Peel the potatoes, cut into cubes and cook in salted water until tender inside.

2. Drain and while they're still warm add the milk, butter and camembert.Mash potatoes with a fork so that you still feel their structure. For draining not only potatoes, I found a great assistant, an expandable sink strainer, click here to check it out.

Serve garnished with fried crispy Black Forest ham and thyme.

Bon Appetit!

Final dish
Final dish

 

Cider, Cyder or the “apple wine”

-        is an alcoholic beverage made by fermentation from fruit juice

-        the alcohol content varies from 1.2 to 8.5%

-        it is usually made from apples but you may also encounter the ones made from peaches and pears called “Perry”

-        the appearance can range from almost transparent (mass production, about 7% ABV, clear)to dark and brownish (from the premise, the darker and cloudier, the more authentic the cider)

-        you may find both sparkling and still types, sparkling being the more common

 

-Production-

- apples are ground first into a pomace which is pressed afterwards, keeping the process quick to prevent oxidation

- fermentation takes place at only 4- 16 °C, consequently it is quite slow - lasting for 3 months, but most aromas are kept inside

- did you know that Calvados and Applejack are also produced from cider?

Calvados is made by the double-distillation of cider, bringing the percentage of alcohol to 40

Applejack may be made by concentrating cider either by classic evaporative or freeze distillation when the cider barrels are left outside during winter, water is frozen and removed.

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