Rabbit Ravioli with Porcini Mushrooms

Excuse the sojourn of late -computer and I have fallen out - I think we're going to break up soon ....anyway enough about my personal life. Here follows the main course I created for the last supper event and it went down a treat. I remember eating rabbit as a child on the farm -proper freeganism... killed by dad, cooked by mum -proper cliché.....and proper delicious. You might get your hands on a rabbit from the right people at a farmers market or you can order one from a butcher that deals with more specialised meats. Ennis Butchers and Fallon & Byrne will both oblige you if you live in or near Dublin. Ravioli is an excellent way to make a little meat go a very long way and you can freeze them ahead of time so if you are preparing a meal for a large crowd they can reduce the stress levels of a main course immensely. You can make pasta by hand but to get it as thin as you need for ravioli you're really in a better place with a machine. Try other fillings if you can't get rabbit...I once had wild boar ravioli in a restaurant with no menu in the hills of Tuscany....I think you'll have better luck hunting down the rabbit though.

Rabbit Ravioli with Porcini Mushrooms

What you need:           For 12 (freeze whatever you don't need)

For the filling-
  • 1 rabbit jointed (ask your butcher to joint it)
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery roughly chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • a few handfulls of whatever mushrooms you like -roughly chopped
  • 2 ltrs chicken stock
  • 1 egg
For the pasta-
  • 1kg '00' flour (you need '00' flour as it has extra gluten -which equals magic stretching power!)
  • 10 eggs (apply the general rule of 1 whole egg per 100g flour)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 extra egg for brushing on the dough
What you need to do:

For the filling-
  • Braise your rabbit pieces on a hot frying pan
  • In a large saucepan gently fry your onions and garlic
  • Add your rabbit followed by the vegetables and stock
  • Simmer for 2 hours on a low heat or until the meat if falling off the bone
  • Strain the meat and veg, allow to cool and remove the meat from the bones
  • Using a hand blender whizz the meat and vegetables into a paste
  • Add some beaten egg if it is too dry
For the pasta -
  • Place your flour and salt in a large bowl -make a well in the middle
  • Whisk up your eggs and pour into the well
  • Gradually combine with your hands
  • When you are able, form it into one ball of dough -knead it on a lightly floured work surface until it is springy
  • If it is too dry you can wet it by adding water from your hands (run tap on your hands, shake off excess and kneed the dough)
  • Divide your dough into 10 pieces -wrap each in cling film and rest for 15 mins
  • Begin with one piece of dough -run it through all the sizes on a pasta machine until you have the thinnest pasta -lay this on a lightly floured surface
  • Mark out the ravioli on the lower half of the sheet using a circular shaped cutter -I have used an espresso cup in the past -whatever you have to hand
Ravioli Assembly Line

  • Place a small teaspoon of filling in each circle, brush the upper half of the pasta with the beaten egg and fold over
  • Cut out each piece of ravioli - after you have pressed all of the air out seal each piece of ravioli
  • If freezing them -use a box or freezer drawer with plenty of space and separate the layers with greaseproof paper -try not too let the ravioli touch each other
  • To make the sauce reduce down the liquid from the rabbit stew and season accordingly
  • Rehydrate some porcini mushrooms -add the liquid from this into the sauce for extra depth of  flavour
  • Bring  5 litres of water to the boil in a pot with a few generous sprinkles of salt
  • Cook the ravioli for about 3 mins or until they have risen to the surface
  • Serve with the sauce and some porcini mushrooms
Pass the Parcel