Gratin of rabbit and fennel
With so many variations available, gratins are easy to get right and they make a glorious treat. This dish, rich with butter and cream, is just the thing for a winter supper or an elegant Saturday-night-with-friends occasion. Serve it with a green salad. Herbes de provence, a robust blend of bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and savory, is generally available as prepared mix.
|2||Fennel bulbs, trimmed|
|2 Tbsp||Unsalted butter|
|1 to taste||Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|1 pinch||Herbes de provence|
- If you have bought whole rabbits, remove the legs and trim the saddles. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut down either side of the backbone and lift off the 2 fillets. Trim off the membranes by sliding the tip of a sharp knife under them and running it down the length of the fillet. Freeze the legs for future use.
- Cut the trimmed fennel bulbs into eighths, top to bottom.
- Heat the butter in the frying pan until it is foaming, then add the fillets, seasoning generously with salt, pepper and the herbes de provence. After 5 minutes, remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside, then add the fennel slices and orange zest to the pan. Cook until the fennel softens, about 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.
- Slice the rabbit into long diagonal strips, mix lightly with the fennel and keep it warm.
- To make the sauce, put the yolks (4), lemon juice, vinegar and chopped chives into a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk the ingredients, and as the mixture warms, begin to add small amounts of butter (at room temperature). When all the butter has been added, stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm.
- Preheat the grill and place the warm rabbit and fennel mixture in a shallow serving dish.
- Ladle the sauce over the top and slide the dish under the grill.
- Cook until golden brown - this happens quickly - then serve hot.