Braised Rabbit With Cheese Stuffed Ravioli


The Braise
  • 1 rabbit, cut up – reserve back bone after removing tenderloins
  • 1 cup flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 bouquet garni (fresh sprigs of thyme, sage and oregano tied with string)
  • 1 1/2 cups braising liquid (see below)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
The Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus some extra flour for rolling dough
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
The Stuffing
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each minced fresh sage and thyme (or substitute pinch each dried herbs)
  • 1 pinch sea salt or kosher salt
Blend all together with a fork in a small bowl.
The Ravioli
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Whisk together to make egg wash to seal ravioli.
The Big Finish
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • Cooked rabbit, removed from bones
  • 2 cups braising liquid from braised rabbit pan
  • Ravioli
Braising Liquid
  • 1 rabbit carcass
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup dry red wine


The Braise Instructions
    1. Dust rabbit pieces with seasoned flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add rabbit and brown evenly on all sides. Remove rabbit and place in a roasting pan. Add onion, celery and carrot to skillet and cook until translucent. Add to pan with rabbit pieces. Add bouquet garni, braising liquid and wine to pan. Place in a 325-degree oven for 1-1/2 hours or until meat falls off of the bone easily. Remove rabbit and reserve braising liquid. Strain liquid through a strainer.
The Dough Instructions
    1. Place flour in a wide bowl, making a well in the center of the flour. Add two of the egg yolks to the well and begin beating the yolks with a fork, drawing the flour into the yolks a little at a time. Add the last egg yolk and continue processing the mixture. Add half of the balsamic vinegar and process for a minute more. When the dough begins to hold together and the eggs are completely absorbed into the flour, it is ready to be kneaded.
    2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and work the dough until it forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes. You may have to add a little more flour to the dough if it starts to stick to your hands or work surface. Form dough into a ball and drizzle remaining balsamic vinegar over. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
    3. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll into a square, about 1/16th of an inch thick. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes while you make the stuffing. Cut the square in half with a knife.
The Dough Instructions
    1. Place a teaspoon-sized portion of the filling about 2 inches apart in rows on one of the sheets of rolled dough. Using a pastry brush, brush a light film of the egg wash around all edges of the ravioli. Place a second sheet of pasta over the first and press down firmly to seal edges. Cut ravioli into squares with a ravioli cutter or use a knife and then crimp edges of ravioli with the back side of a fork, making sure not to cut through into the ravioli center.
    2. Place the ravioli, a few at a time, into lightly boiling salted water. Cook for 2 minutes and then immediately transfer to The Big Finish.
The Finish Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add shallots and mushrooms and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes. Add cooked rabbit, braising liquid and ravioli. Simmer for 5 minutes to combine flavors. Serve immediately.
Braising Liquid Instructions
  1. Place carcass and vegetables in a roasting pan and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 1 hour, turning contents once or twice to brown evenly. Remove pan from oven. Add some water to the pan and scrape pan with a wooden spoon to loosen bits. Transfer contents of pan to a medium stockpot or saucepan. Add peppercorns, bay leaves and remaining water and wine. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 1 hour, adding more liquid if necessary to keep solids just covered. Pour through a colander, reserving braising liquid. Discard contents of colander.


This recipe was created by Chef Joe Shaw, one of Birmingham’s finest culinary artists and a close personal friend. Joe takes his cooking seriously. If you want to make your kitchen duty a bit easier, purchase pre-made fresh or frozen ravioli at the store. It’s best to first make the braising liquid, then the braised rabbit before starting on the ravioli. The ravioli can also be made in a advance and then frozen.

Recipe courtesy of the Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath. Click to order The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook

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