Braised Rabbit in Wine Sauce with Lentils & Spinach

In the spirit of our twist on the Super Tuscan we bring to your kitchen an amazing recipe that captures the essence of this 2005 Blend 24. We recommend having the butcher dress the rabbit for you. Also, a great tip from a French chef is to soak the rabbit in water with 1 Tbsp. salt and ¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice covered in a bowl for an hour before preparing. Drain and dry the meat before cooking. Blend 24
Serves 2-4
Start with one glass Blend 24 – for the cook!
One 2 ¾ lb. rabbit cut into serving pieces
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 c. flour
2 Tbsp. butter
1 ¼ c. chicken stock
¼ lb. chopped pancetta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 c. sliced yellow onion
1 ½ c. sliced mushrooms (a mix of porcini if you can get them, crimini and/or white button)
1/3 c. dry red wine
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 Tsp. dried marjoram
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
16 oz. fresh, washed spinach or bitter greens
1 ½ c. prepared lentils (beluga if possible)
2 Tbsp. shallots
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ c. chicken stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
Season the rabbit with salt & pepper. Flour the pieces in a bowl and pat off excess. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Brown the rabbit on both sides (leaving some brown bits in the bottom of the pan), remove to an oven top casserole dish. Deglaze the pan with ¼ c. chicken stock, scraping up the tasty brown bits and pour into the casserole.
Heat the frying pan again and brown the pancetta, add to casserole. Heat the olive oil, garlic & onion in same pan. Sauté until the onions are tender (do not brown the garlic). Add the mushrooms continue to sauté for a few minutes until tender, add the remaining ingredients along with the 1 c. remaining stock. Stir until the paste is dissolved. Add to the casserole.
Simmer and cover about ½ hour, gently turning the meat. Turn off the burner, keep the dish covered and let settle for 10-15 minutes.
Use this time to prepare the greens & lentils. Sauté the shallots in olive oil until clear and fragrant. Add lentils, salt and pepper to taste and stock. Reduce liquid add greens until wilted.

Plate the greens & lentils and top with rabbit & a generous spoonful of sauce.