Saddle of Rabbit, Pickled Apple and Rhubarb

A complex main dish of saddle of rabbit, pickled apple and rhubarb, kidneys in brown butter, black pudding quail egg, sauce gribiche from MasterChef Ireland.


  • 1 saddle of rabbit w/ kidneys
  • 2 kidneys rabbit offal
  • 1 ring black pudding (mccarthys of kanturk)
  • 200 g caul fat
  • 1 quail egg plus spares)
  • 100 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 5 chicken eggs
  • 100 g plain four
  • rapeseed oil for frying
  • 350 ml rapeseed oil (derrycamma) for mayonnaise
  • 30 a dijon mustard
  • 75 a cider vinegar
  • salt for seasoning
  • black pepper for seasoning
  • sea salt flakes for seasoning/garnish
  • 35 g cornichons
  • 30 g capers
  • 2 sprigs of tarragon
  • 20 g flat parsley
  • 10 g chervil
  • 10 g chives
  • 100 a unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 bramley apples
  • 300 g rhubarb
  • 60 g cane sugar
  • micro watercress for garnish


  1. Hard Egg for Sauce Gribiche: Start a saucepan of water simmering on the hob, when the water boils, lower a chicken egg into the water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the egg from the water and place in an ice bath or under running water to cool. Separate the egg white from the yolk and set aside for the sauce gribiche. Keep the water boiling for the quail egg.
  2. 'Pickled' Apple and Rhubarb: In another saucepan, melt 50g unsalted butter over a medium heat. When melted add 60g of sugar, stir and heat for 2 minutes over a medium heat until the mixture is incorporated and forms a light caramel.
  3. Core and peel the apples, halving each through the core. Slice each apple half into 6-8 pieces dependign on size. Remove the ends from the Rhubarb and cut into sections the length of the rabbit saddle and slice in half widthways
  4. When the butter and sugar mixture is ready (Step 2) add the apple and mix into the caramel. Leave to simmer for two minutes. After two minutes, add 25g cider vinegar and simmer for another two minutes. When done, remove from the heat and place the apple pieces in a sieve to drain off excess liquid.
  5. Rabbit Saddle: While the apple and rhubarb are simmering. Start to bone the rabbit. The aim is to remove both fillets from the backbone while keeping them connected via the membrane over the back of the rabbit. Start by turning the saddle flaps facing up. Scrape the ribs outwards and pull the flap to release them from the meat. Cut along the sides of the backbone and along the shorter ribs to separate the fillets from the inside of the backbone. Turn the saddle over, and bring the two flaps together over the top of the rabbit so that the thin membrane that connects the saddles to the backbone is pulled up. Slowly work the membrane away from the vertebrae with the boning knife until the bone is disconnected but all the meat remains in one whole piece. Set aside for later.
  6. Open up the rabbit and then layer the apple and raw rhubarb (Steps 2-5) up inside and on top of the fillets.
  7. Rinse the caul fat under some cold water and dry well.
  8. Place the saddle on the caul fat and wrap, trimming the caul to shape.
  9. Sear briefly for 30 seconds on each side in a hot pan, brushed with a little rapeseed oil.
  10. Remove from the pan and season generously with some sea salt. Move to a 180 degree celsius oven for exactly 15 minutes, allowing 5 minutes to rest before carving when done.
  11. To carve, slice two 1/2cm thick pieces from the thickest section of the round.
  12. Scotch Quail Eggs: Place the quail eggs in the saucepan of boiling water and cook for exactly 1 minute 50 seconds.
  13. While the eggs are cooking. Slice open the black pudding and remove the skin. Mash the meat with a fork and portion into 13g balls.
  14. Place each ball between two sheets of clingfilm and roll thin. Remove the top layer of film when ready to roll the egg.
  15. Remove the eggs from the water when done and place in an ice bath or under running water to cool. Peel when cool enough to handle.
  16. Place the peeled eggs in the centre of the black pudding and use the clingfilm to bring the pudding around the egg. gently pinch the edges of the pudding together and use the clingfilm to wrap each egg tightly. refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  17. Replace the saucepan of water with a saucepan of oil and heat to 190 degrees celsius while the eggs chill in the fridge.
  18. Beat an egg in one bowl, season some plain flour with salt and pepper in a second and add the panko to a third.
  19. When the eggs are ready, roll them in the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.
  20. Just before service, place in the hot oil for 1 minute 30 seconds exactly.
  21. Remove from oil, slice in half and plate immediately
  22. Mayonnaise: Separate 3 egg yolks and blend briefly with the mustard in the food processer until smooth. Slowly add the 350g of rapeseed oil, in drips at first and faster as the emulsion takes. When all of the oil is added blend until fully incorporated, then blend in 30g of cider vinegar. Finally season with a pinch of salt and set aside for the sauce gribiche.
  23. Sauce Gribiche: Rinse and pat dry the capers and then finely slice them and the cornichons.
  24. Finely chop the tarragon and 10g each of parsley, chive, and chervil.
  25. Take 130g of the mayonnaise (Step 14), add 15g of cider vinegar and fold in the capers and cornichons. Pass the hard egg yolk from Step 1 through a sieve into the mixture and finely chop the egg white also from Step 1 and stir through as well.
  26. Just before service fold in the chopped herbs.
  27. Offal in Brown Butter: Just before service, heat a frying pan to a medium-high heat, brush with a little rapeseed oil.
  28. Place the offal on the heat and cook for exactly 60 seconds on the first side
  29. Turn them over and add a large knob of butter to the pan, basting the offal as the butter foams up.
  30. When the butter starts to brown, add a squeeze of lemon to cool the butter and continue to baste until the second side has cooked for 50 seconds. Remove the offal and plate
  31. Garnish: Take a few nice sprigs of the water cress and a few leaves of chervil.
  32. To Serve: With a serving spoon, add a tablespoon of the Sauce Gribiche just off centre sweeping it across the middle of the plate.
  33. Add one half of a quail egg on top of the sauce, angled sideways and place the slice of rabbit saddle flat next to it. Lay another slice on top of the first, against the side of the egg.
  34. At the end of the sweep of sauce, add the pieces of offal and spoon with some of the brown butter and parsley and a few chips of sea salt. Next to these add the other half of the egg. Again garnish with a single small chip of sea salt
  35. Garnish with the micro watercress and chervil leaves.


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