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Rabbit Rillettes

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Ingredients

1 rabbit, 3–3½ pounds

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 quart lard

½ cup chicken stock or rabbit stock

8 whole garlic cloves

2 shallots, cut into quarters

1 slice heavily smoked bacon

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

3 allspice berries

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cloves

3 juniper berries, smashed with the back of a knife

5 sage leaves

1 bunch fresh thyme

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 teaspoon white pepper

Directions

  1. Cut rabbit into 8 pieces by removing the legs and splitting the saddle in half twice. Season rabbit with salt and black pepper. Place in a container, cover, and let rest at least 24 hours.
  2. Using a heavy-bottom pot, heat lard and stock, then add garlic, shallots, and bacon. Once lard is melted, turn off and set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Using cheesecloth, wrap up bay leaves, mustard seeds, allspice berries, red pepper, cloves, juniper berries, sage, and thyme and tie together with butcher’s twine and add to pot. Add rabbit, cover with a lid, and cook 3–4 hours or until the rabbit easily pulls off the bone. Remove the pot from the oven and let cool for one hour before handling. Once cool, carefully remove rabbit from pot using slotted spoon.
  4. Pick meat from bone, being careful of small bones. Strain fat and reserve.
  5. In mixing bowl, shred meat with your hands, add whole-grain mustard, white pepper, and enough fat to yield a creamy texture.
  6. Pack into sterilized jars and cover with thin layer of fat. Allow to rest in refrigerator for at least 24 hours, then serve at room temperature with baguette and pickles.
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