This dish is very apt. Mistress loves rabbit. I have been appearing in my own dreams as a bunny rabbit, and Mistress has been appearing in my dreams as animals that eat bunny rabbits…I don’t know, how else or where else does the burning desire to suddenly eat bunny rabbit parfait come from?!
It is that good though. Paté v. parfait? Parfait is very smooth, almost light, has eggs whipped into it, and should be as smooth as silk. A paté can be either smooth or country-style with big chunks in it. I will post a delicious recipe for a smooth chicken liver paté sometime soon, but in the meantime, this is a keeper. Mistress, save some for me!
It is best served with a little sharp cornichon pickles, cocktail onions, or a savoury onion chutney. Pairs nicely with a crisp white like a Silvaner or Sauvignon Blanc.
- 500 g of rabbit liver, heart, gizzard, and kidneys (but mainly liver)
- 100 ml of white port
- 100 ml of marsala or oloroso sherry or bual madeira
- 50 ml of Calvados or other dry fruit brandy
- 60 g of shallots, peeled weight, about 3 small ones, minced fine
- Olive oil q.o.b.
- 2 teaspoons of herbes de provence—a blend of oregano, thyme and rosemary
- 400 g unsalted butter
- 2 eggs plus 2 yolks
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fresh milk for soaking the livers
Prepare the livers and other organ meats. Rinse the meat well. Pull off any connective tissue. It is better to use your fingers than a knife so that you only get what you need. Put the meat to soak for an hour just covered with milk. This will draw out the blood and other bitter flavours.
Sauté the shallots in a large saucepan over medium heat in a small quantity of olive oil, just enough to sweat, but not so much that they change colour. Pour in the three alcohols and cook to reduce until syrupy. Turn off the heat and toss in the butter, and using a wooden spatula, cut the butter into the mix and then let it cool down enough so that it is no longer hot to the touch.
Meanwhile place the organ meats into a blender and mix very well with the eggs. Then add the butter-shallot mix and blend until smooth. Pour the mix through a fine mesh sieve to catch any irregularities.
Preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F.
Pour the mix into a terrine mould or ramekins, and cover snugly with plastic wrap. Place the mould into the smallest roasting tin that will fit them, and add boiling hot water to the pan to reach about ¾ of the way up the sides of the terrine pan. Gently move the pan to the oven, taking care not to spill.
Bake on the centre rack of the oven until the internal temperature of the terrine reaches 60°C/140F. Thankfully now there are those gun thermometers that can take the internal temperature without poking into it! The cooking time will be roughly 30 minutes, and you will notice both colour and texture have changed on the terrine.
Place the terrine in the refrigerator to cool. It is best if it is left to sit for a day or two, so the flavours have time to meld and mellow. Serve cool and cut it out of the terrine pan with a wooden knife or spatula.
Delicious on toast. Enjoy.