This is the saddle of rabbit that I kept back from the braise the other day. Saddles fillet out to two nice meaty loins, very lean, but that very leanness means they don't braise well. They go woolly rather than succulent and overcook easily. But they still need some moisture and fat around them I think to make them really tasty. I had put them in a buttermilk marinade the day I cooked the rest of the rabbit, which ended up being a 48 hour soak.
The marinade was loosely based on one from Niamh Shields' Comfort and Spice - a marvellous book from a fabulous blogger, who I enjoy talking to on Twitter. She uses the marinade for fried chicken, but it translates well to rabbit. I put a good couple of glugs of buttermilk, a little milk, some salt, pepper, paprika, fresh thyme and a few sage leaves in a bowl, submerged the rabbit and left it in the fridge.
If you try this, be aware that it looks disgusting when you take it out of the fridge, but ignore that, and just drain the meat when you are ready, wrap neatly in stretched streaky bacon, and roll in cling film, making a neat little sausage with tied ends. Poach in water below simmering level (65-70degrees C) for 20 minutes, then finish off by browning in a hot pan in a little butter.
The rabbit stays tender and succulent and contrasts nicely with the crispy bacon.
Rather cheffy I thought..