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White Rabbit Lasagna

D'Artagnan | Yield: 6
This recipe is a staff favorite! Hearty, mushroom-flecked rabbit ragout and creamy bechamel are layered then topped with sharp white cheddar. Delicious.
White Rabbit Lasagna Recipe | D'Artagnan

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Rabbit, quartered
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, canned, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme, plus 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 cup Organic Chef's Mix Mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch nutmeg, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound no-boil lasagna sheets
  • 3/4 cup aged white cheddar cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep cast iron skillet or enameled cast-iron roasting pan over high heat. Add the rabbit and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, shallots and garlic, scraping up any browned rabbit bits. When the onions have softened, add the white wine and chopped tomato. Cook for a minute, then add the chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme sprig. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. Transfer the pan from the oven to the stovetop, but leave the oven on. Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Discard the herbs. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened and reduced by half.
  3. Shred the rabbit meat, then chop half of the shredded meat. Add the rabbit to the vegetable mixture, stirring well. Remove from the heat.
  4. Make the béchamel sauce: in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, lowering the temperature if the flour starts to brown. Whisk in the milk and cook at a simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Stir in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Once smooth, add the parsley, sage, thyme and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from heat.
  5. Assemble the lasagna in a deep baking dish: using an offset spatula, lightly coat the bottom of the pan with some of the rabbit mixture, then cover the rabbit with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread an even layer of the béchamel sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering until the pan is 3/4 full or you run out of the rabbit mix, making sure not to overfill the pan as the lasagna sheets swell during baking. Top with the grated cheese and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese on top has browned. Remove from the oven and let rest and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve hot or just above room temperature, alongside a green salad.