We’ve hosted the Easter Bunny BBQ the day before Easter for decades. Friends and family show up at Bunny Hump Ranch to listen to music, drink beer and eat rabbit. Some times the bonfire burns all night long. The party was canceled this year due to The Contagion. Rather than sit around and mope, I decided to make a Rabbit Roulade and cook it in a Dutch oven over coals burning in my dugout canoe. Roulade requires some preparation, but the results are worth the effort. Start with a medium sized fryer rabbit.
1 Fryer Rabbit, about 2 1/4 #
9 oz prosciutto
3 stakes of asparagus
cauliflower, a double handful of florets
1 clove garlic
1/2 stick butter
salt, pepper and sage
First you will need to bone the rabbit. Remove the legs. The forelegs are easily removed by slicing behind the shoulder blades. The hind legs require a little more work. Cut clear around where they join the body, following the edge of the pelvis. Give the leg a twist and work your knife in at the head of the femur to cut the leg free. Remove the organs and trim the fat. If you plan to use the liver, carefully remove and discard the bile duct.
Separate ribs from one side of sternum to open chest cavity so you can open the rabbit out flat,belly down. Follow the spine with the tip of your knife, slicing up the back of the carcass from asshole to breakfast. Tease the flesh away from the ribs, working from the spine out, left side and right side. You should end up with two slabs of boneless meat. Remove the tenderloin from along the anterior spine in the abdomen.
Disarticulate the legs, setting forelegs, thighs and rear legs aside to BBQ.
To make the filling, rinse the vegetables and mushrooms. Peel and julienne the carrot, peel and grate the parsnip. Slice the morels lengthwise into thin strips.
Separate the cauliflower into florets and place with grated parsnip into a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender. Mash with garlic, butter, salt, pepper and sage.
To assemble the roulade, lay out a string 2 ½ times length of rabbit slabs; lay 3 more strings across first string, each 2 ½ times width of side by side rabbit slabs. Lay out prosciutto on top of strings to form a rectangle, large enough to lay your two slabs of rabbit across.
Arrange rabbit at right angles to your strips of prosciutto, so you have a flat layer of prosciutto Top with a flat layer of rabbit.
Mound filling up the middle of the rabbit. Arrange the vegetables length-wise along the sides fo the mashed cauliflower, to make colored stripes. Form a trench running the length of the cauliflower and spoon in minced rabbit liver. Top the liver with strips of morel mushrooms.
Fold rabbit layer in, over the filling. Bring prosciutto ends up over rabbit, entirely encasing it. Bind it with the cotton strings to keep it together. You should end up with a prosciutto wrapped log which you can lift into your casserole or Dutch oven.
Bake in a medium-hot Dutch oven 1 1/ hours or until done.