In The Charcuterie

At this year’s holiday get-together, think outside the been-there-done-that hams and turkeys. Instead, turn to In the Charcuterie, the debut cookbook from Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller, owners of San Francisco’s Fatted Calf, where you’ll find this succulent rabbit porchetta between informative how-tos and other meat-related recipes. It’s the perfect, unpredictable-yet-unforgettable dish for those intimate gatherings.

Rabbit Porchetta
Serves 6

Porchetta is usually made from a whole hog or whole pork middle. The meat is deboned, seasoned generously with garlic, fennel and herbs, then rolled, tied and roasted. It is a thing of beauty, a great big thing, best cooked for a big, hungry crowd. This miniature version, made with rabbit, follows the traditional porchetta principles of rolling a roast with spices, garlic, citrus and herbs. While still loaded with porchetta flavour, it is scaled for everyday dining and can be prepared in a fraction of the time.

1 whole rabbit, 4–6 lbs
4 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste in a mortar
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp fennel pollen
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs
(such as rosemary, oregano, flat-leaf parsley and sage)
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. Completely debone the rabbit. Lay the boneless rabbit out on a work surface and rub the inside with the garlic and lemon zest. Season the rabbit inside and outside with salt, pepper and the fennel pollen, then sprinkle the herbs over the inside. Working lengthwise, roll up the rabbit tightly, then tie with butcher’s twine at 7.5-cm intervals. Wrap the rabbit tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 day or for up to 3 days.

2. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and allow it to temper for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F). Outfit a roasting pan with a rack.

3. Place the rabbit on the rack and rub on all sides with the olive oil. Roast for about 45 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the rabbit registers 60 C (140 F).

4. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice into rounds 12 mm thick and arrange on a platter. Strain the pan juices and spoon over the sliced meat.

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