Lapereau Venaison à la Gombervaux

This is a historic recipe I came across in my methuselah cookbook, and classifies as some light version of the Lièvre à la Royale. It is based, however, on rabbit meat instead of hare, I assume this is why they’ve added deer and/or boar meat in order to render the stew more gamey. The original recipe requires the blood of the rabbit, that’s possibly difficult to get unless you live in the countryside and have access to home butchered meat. You may then simply replace it with a stout broth. 

What you’ll need

  • One rabbit, cut into pieces, keep the liver seperate
  • If available, the blood
  • One large onion, quartered
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • Six slices of lard
  • About ten slices of uncooked ham
  • Carottes and potatos, peeled and cut and precooked
  • A piece of game meat (I took a boar cutlet that I happened to have in the freezer) 
  • Parsley, thyme, peppermint, wild growing thyme (if available), bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Half a bottle of dry white wine
  • 0.5dl cognac

How to cook it

The day before, wrap the rabbit pieces in the slices of ham and put them into a steel bowl with the garlic, herbs and onion quarters. Cover with a mixture of wine and rabbit blood so that the meat is covered in the liquid and add the cognac. Let marinade for 24 hours in a cool spot. 

The next day, take an ovenproof dish that has a lid and lay it out with the lard slices, keep two for the finish. Add rabbit meat, game, liver, carottes, potatoes, onion quarters and garlic and cover again with the lard. Fill up to half of the dish with the marinade. Depending on how salty your lard and ham are, season the meat with salt and pepper prior to cooking. Close the lid and leave for three hours at 80°C (no fan) in the oven. Before serving, strain the juices into a separate pan and reduce by two thirds for about ten minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 50g of icy cold butter. 

How to serve it

To a bunch of good folks while the snow is falling outside, all around the table and drinking full bodied savagnin from Jura.

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