Ballotine of Rabbit with Sautéed Potatoes, Wilted Spinach, Prune Puree and a Juniper Infused Jus

By Charles Paul, Chef and Owner, Brawns of Cowes

 

Ingredients

For the ballotine of rabbit

2 Whole rabbits

100ml Single cream

1 Egg white

Half bunch of finely chopped, fresh, flat leaf parsley

10g Wholegrain mustard

12 Slices parma ham

 

For the prune puree

1 Tin of prunes

100ml Armagnac

 

For the juniper infused jus

500ml Home-made dark chicken stock or Heston’s chicken stock from Waitrose

300ml Red wine

5 Juniper berries crushed

 

Method

To prepare the rabbit

Start by breaking down the Rabbit or have your butcher do it for you.

  1. Remove all 4 legs of each animal and reserve.
  2. Remove the loin by running a knife along the backbone of the rabbit and following the bone down either side to give you 2 long strips of meat. Carefully remove the silver skin on the loins and discard.
  3. On the under-side of the rabbit you will also find 2 smaller fillets that you can usually just pull off with your fingers.
  4. Place these in fridge for later.

To make the ballotine

  1. Finely chop or mince the leg meat.
  2. Blend the leg meat with the egg white until smooth, and pass through a fine sieve.
  3. Using a spatula, mix thoroughly with the double cream, then finish with the parsley, wholegrain mustard, salt and pepper. Place this mouse in a piping bag or you can use a sandwich bag with a corner cut off (works just as well).
  4. To roll the ballotine, place a sheet of cling film over a chopping board. Lay down 3 slices of the Parma ham. Place one the larger loins on the ham, pipe on the leg mouse and top with one of the smaller loins. Roll the ham tightly to form a log and wrap tightly with the cling film. Twist both ends in opposite directions to get as tight as possible. Tie the ends with string to stop it coming undone.

For the juniper jus

  1. Combine the wine, chicken stock and juniper berries, heat until gently simmering and let it reduce to 1/3. Keep warm for plating up.

For the prune puree

  1. Warm up the tinned prunes with some of the syrup and the Armagnac.
  2. Blend until smooth and keep warm for plating up.

For Plating Up

  1. Place the ballotines in a pot of gently simmering water for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and remove the cling film.
  2. Fry the ballotines in a pan of foaming butter for 2 minutes before placing on a chopping board to rest.
  3. Using the same pan, remove some of the butter and wilt down the baby spinach with a small pinch of salt.

To Serve

I suggest serving with wilted spinach and sautéed potatoes as follows.

Place a tablespoon of the prune puree on the plate and swipe if you’re feeling adventurous. Put a line of the spinach on the plate about the same length as the ballotine. Slice the ballotines into 5 pieces and place on the spinach. Scatter the plate with the sautéed potatoes. Finish with a few spoons of the jus.