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Braised Rabbit Leg with Tagliatelle, Beets, Swiss Chard and Asiago

Rabbit is an under-utilized meat in America that’s having a bit of a Renaissance moment. Local farmers are starting to raise bunny, which has a very mild flavor, similar to chicken, but with a slight hint of game. If the thought of Peter Cottontail on your plate freaks you out, you can substitute chicken legs (although maybe you need to quit eating meat altogether— chickens, cows, and piggies are pretty darn cute too).
By / Photography By Taylor Mathis | December 01, 2013

Ingredients

Braised Rabbit Legs
  • 1½ pounds rabbit legs (about 6 total)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Few sprigs fresh marjoram or thyme
  • 3–4 cups chicken stock
Tagliatelle with Beets, Swiss Chard, and Asiago
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 bunch roasted beets, sliced or quartered if small
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, cut thinly (chiffonade)
  • Warmed, cooked shredded braised rabbit leg, in reserved braising liquid reduction*
  • Asiago cheese

Instructions

Braised Rabbit Legs

Preheat oven to 300°.

Season rabbit legs with salt and pepper on all sides. Toast mustard seeds over low heat until fragrant, then grind in an herb or coffee grinder. Heat a Dutch oven or medium oven-safe pot over medium heat. Add a splash of oil to the pan, and sear meat until browned on all sides.

Remove meat to platter. Add onion, celery, and carrot to the pot, sautéing until the onion is translucent. Add herbs. Return meat to pot with any juices that have run out. Cover meat with chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and place a lid on the pot. Transfer to the oven for 1½–2 hours, until meat is tender and fibers start to separate when you push on them.

Remove meat from pot, and strain liquid into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Using your hands or forks, break the rabbit meat into large chunks, and add to the pot with the reduction. Stir to coat evenly, and place in a warm oven to reheat throughout. Serve with pasta.

Tagliatelle with Beets, Swiss Chard, and Asiago

Mound flour on a cutting board or kitchen counter. Make a small well in the center. Crack eggs into the well and, using a fork, beat the eggs. Begin to incorporate flour from the mound into the eggs slowly. Th e dough will come together in a shaggy ball once half of the flour is incorporated. Begin to knead the dough, incorporating the rest of flour. Knead the dough for around 3 minutes, until it is elastic and slightly sticky. If it feels very sticky, add more flour in ¼ to ½ cup increments until it feels smooth. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, set it aside, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight.

Roll dough out with a rolling pin, then put through a pasta roller to make thin sheets (alternatively, if you don’t have a pasta roller, use your rolling pin to roll it as thin as possible). Cut pasta into tagliatelle ribbons ¾-inch wide.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, lightly salt, and add pasta for 2–3 minutes, being careful not to overcook (fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dried). Meanwhile, melt some butter over medium heat in a large pan; sauté shallots until translucent. Add beets and chard, cooking until the chard has wilted. Add the pasta, rabbit meat, and rabbit liquid reduction, stirring and tossing to combine. Pour into a large family-style serving bowl, and grate the Asiago on top.

Ingredients

Braised Rabbit Legs
  • 1½ pounds rabbit legs (about 6 total)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Few sprigs fresh marjoram or thyme
  • 3–4 cups chicken stock
Tagliatelle with Beets, Swiss Chard, and Asiago
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 bunch roasted beets, sliced or quartered if small
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, cut thinly (chiffonade)
  • Warmed, cooked shredded braised rabbit leg, in reserved braising liquid reduction*
  • Asiago cheese
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