Roast Saddle of Rabbit filled with Herbs and Wild Mushrooms, with Fondant Potatoes, Glazed Carrots and Red Wine and Mustard Sauce

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Rhubarb and Black Pudding

Rhubarb and Black Pudding

By Paul Heathcote and Matthew Fort

Published 1998

  • About


  • 4 whole rabbits
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 g / 1 lb 2 oz assorted wild mushrooms, such as girolles, ceps
  • about 550 ml / 19 fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 250 g / 9 oz smoked bacon
  • a little oil
  • 550 ml / 19 fl oz whipping cream


  1. Ask your butcher to prepare the rabbits for you as follows: skin and clean them; remove the legs and shoulders, leaving the saddle; loosen the sinew along the backbone, but retain it (to protect the meat during cooking); remove the fillets from the saddle, taking off the sinew at the top of the fillets and reserving all the belly for wrapping the stuffing in place. Chill the rabbit saddle and legs in the fridge.
  2. Take the rabbit leg meat off the bone and trim off any skin, fat or sinew. Reserve the bones in the fridge. Finely dice the meat and place in a food processor. Pulse for 1 minute. Add 2 pinches of salt and pulse for a further minute, then chill in the fridge.
  3. Make the sauce: preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/ gas 5. Chop the rabbit bones and roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Add some oil to a hot pan, then add the shallots, half the mustard seeds and the garlic, and cook until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce to a sticky consistency. Add the chicken stock and veal stock and reduce gently until the consistency of a pouring sauce. Pass through a muslin cloth, add the rest of the mustard seeds and season.
  4. Prepare and clean the wild mushrooms. Reserve about a quarter for garnish. Place the mushrooms in a pan, half cover with chicken stock, add the garlic and sprig of thyme, and cook until all liquid is reduced and the mushrooms are dry. Season and allow to cool.
  5. Trim the smoked bacon and cut it into fine lardon strips. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water. Reserve half for garnish. Fry the rest of the bacon in a little oil in a hot pan until golden brown. Place on a pile of kitchen paper to drain off as much fat as possible, then mix into the wild mushrooms.
  6. Take the pulsed rabbit meat from the fridge and pulse again, slowly adding the cream. Season and press through a fine drum sieve. Mix the mushrooms and bacon into the mousse and adjust the seasoning.
  7. Take the prepared saddles from the fridge and place the fillets on top of the belly, then spread the mousse on top of them. Wrap the belly flaps back around the fillets and mousse, then wrap in foil. Replace in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  8. Glaze the carrots: slice the carrots into 6-mm / ¼-inch chunks. Half cover with water, add the butter, garlic, tarragon and salt. Cook until all the water has evaporated and the carrots are glazed, about 15–20 minutes.
  9. Braise the cabbage: blanch the leaves until tender and refresh. Drain and shred finely. Place the butter in a pan, add the bacon and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and sweat until softened but not coloured. Add the cabbage and cook gently for a minute or so. Season.
  10. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6, then cook the stuffed saddle for 5 minutes. Allow to rest for 3–4 minutes before removing the foil.
  11. Prepare the reserved wild mushrooms for garnish. Sauté them quickly in a little oil in a hot pan. Drain off the fat and season.
  12. Place a pile of cabbage in the centre of each warmed serving plate. Carve each rabbit fillet across into half and arrange on either side. Scatter the vegetable garnish and mushrooms over the plate and place some fondant potatoes at the top of each plate. Spoon the sauce around the plate.