Rabbit Cooked Like a Tuscan Pig: Coniglio in Porchetta
- 1 (4 1/2 pound) rabbit, head, tail and feet removed and gutted, liver reserved, have your butcher remove all of the bones from the rabbit for you.
- 1/2 cup lardo, or fat back
- 1/2 bulb fennel, cored and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 links Italian sausage, removed from its casings
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Coarse salt
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Season the inside and outside of the rabbit with pepper, and set aside.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan heat 4 tablespoons of the lardo until smoking. Add the fennel and the garlic and cook over medium heat until softened and light brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until just cooked, about 6 to 8 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Stuff the rabbit cavity with the fennel, garlic, and the remaining lardo, cut into 1/8-inch dice. Truss the rabbit to seal the openings and place in a casserole. Baste with the wine and lemon juice, and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
Cook in the oven for 1 hour, turning once after 30 minutes of cooking, and occasionally basting with the pan juices. Remove from the oven, allow to sit 5 minutes. Serve in 1/2-inch slices with pan juices emulsified with extra virgin olive oil.