Rabbit and port-poached pear salad with balsamic dressing

Rabbit and port-poached pear salad with balsamic dressing

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  • 6
  • 20 minutes, plus curing time
  • 50 minutes
  • Delheim Pinotage 2010


  • 2 rabbit legs, deboned
  • 3 cups Port
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 pears
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 150 g rocket, picked
  • 100 g walnuts
  • For the brine:
  • 1 litre water
  • 110 g coarse salt
  • 25 g sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 coriander seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • For the court bouillon:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 t black peppercorns
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Cooking Instructions

Submerge the rabbit legs in 3 cups brine and chill for 1½ hours, completely covered.

Rinse the legs under running water to get rid of any excess brine and dry very well using kitchen paper.

Place the ingredients for the court bouillon into a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Place the rabbit legs in the court bouillon and poach for 40 minutes. The meat should be cooked through. Allow to cool in the court bouillon. Remove the legs from the liquid, wrap in clingfilm and chill if required.

Place the Port, sugar, star anise and cinnamon into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil.

Peel and core the pears. Place the pears into the poaching liquor and simmer very gently until just soft. Cool the pears in the liquid and place in the fridge until needed.

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper until incorporated. Set aside.

To assemble, slice the pears and rabbit to the desired thickness. Toss the rocket with the balsamic dressing and top with pears, rabbit and walnuts.

To make the brine, place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then chill until needed.

READ MORE: Luke Dale-Roberts cooks with brine.

Luke Dale-Roberts Recipe by: Luke Dale-Roberts
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Considered a foodie visionary by most, Luke Dale-Roberts is the mastermind behind SA's number one restaurant, The Test Kitchen, as well as The Pot Luck Club.

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