This time last week I was in the Hunter Valley for the Hunter Valley Wine Show, and dropped by at the Hungerford Hill for a cellar door wine tasting with six dish tasting plate. Out comes the food, carried by my friend and chef and the 2014 Australian Young Restaurateur of the Year. As with all good cooks, I couldn’t leave without asking him for a recipe.
“I love this dish; it’s relatively easy to produce and is great for when friends and family are over because so much is already pre-prepared.” Troy Rhoades-Brown shared of his selected recipe.
White Wine Braised Local Rabbit with Binnorie Goats Cheese Cream, Garden Herbs and Flowers
400g Desiree mash
3g picked thyme
4g table salt
For the gnocchi you want to take about 4-5 medium desiree potatoes to make the mash, place them into the oven at 180C for about 60-90 minutes.
They need to be just cooked not under and not over. Then remove the flesh from the potato and put this through a moulis to make a dry mash.
Weigh out 400g and place this into a bowl, add the egg yolk, thyme, salt and flour. Mix well with your hands on the bench to create a dough.
Then divide this into four and roll each piece on a lightly floured bench into a long sausage shape 2cm diameter.
Use enough flour so they do not stick then cut them into 2cm lengths so they are like little barrels or using a gnocchi board with the palm of your hand.
-Place onto a tray, bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi, once they float remove from the water with a slotted spoon into iced water to cool. Then remove from the water and drain placing into a container with a little olive oil.
(keep in mind you can pre prepare your gnocchi up to two days before, store in the fridge.)
Braised White Rabbit
800g rabbit joints, seasoned
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bunch of thyme
1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
300mls of dry white wine
In a hot large pot, fry your rabbit in a little olive oil until golden brown then add your herbs, onions, garlic, carrot and celery.
Turn the heat down and continue to fry for 6 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Add your white wine and continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add just enough cold water to cover the meat by 3cm. Put a lid on the pot as this will retain as much moisture as possible while cooking. Cook on a really low heat for about 2 hours.
It’s ready when you can literally push the meat off the bone. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and allow to cool slightly before removing the meat from the pot.
Pull apart all the lovely pieces of meat, throwing away any skin and bones. Strain and reduce the liquid down to approx 300mls.
Remove from the heat and return the tender rabbit meat to the pot.
Binnorie Goats Cheese Cream
150g Binnorie Goats Cheese
200mls of cream
Place the cream in a small saucepan, heat to approximately 80C, crumble in the goat’s cheese. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blitz for 1 min. Set aside.
Bring the large pot of rabbit to a slow simmer, add the potato gnocchi, 60g of diced butter and 100g of fresh peas. Gently fold the ingredients together for no longer then 2minutes.
Portion into bowls, finish with the goats cheese cream and freshly picked herbs. (We also use wild fennel and garlic flowers.)
Hunter Valley ingredient used are; White rabbit, Binnorie goats cheese, olive oil, white wine, cream, wild fennel, chefs garden herbs and flowers.
Chef – Troy Rhoades-Brown
Troy’s interest for food, flavours and technique began at a young age. Training in a small traditional Italian family restaurant. Keen to further his career, he came to the Hunter Valley to work under chef and restaurateur Robert Molines a great chef mentor for Troy.
After winning the 2005 Brett Graham Award, Troy flew to Europe to gain work experience at The Ledbury returning to the Hunter Valley with the dream of opening his own restaurant. Troy worked his way up the ranks to Head Chef of Robert’s Restaurant.
In March 2009, Troy and wife Megan opened their dream, ‘Muse Restaurant’ with the aim of providing a complete dining experience. Just 15 months after opening the restaurant was awarded its first SMH Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat. A tremendous goal for Troy and wife Megan. After continued success they opened a second restaurant in October 2011. ‘Muse Kitchen’ at Keith Tulloch Winery. A European bistro, which picked up a SMH Good Food Guide Chef Hat in its first year.
In 2014 Troy was awarded The Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Young Restaurateur of the Year.
Still at the young age of 29 Troy remains grounded and humbled by his achievements. Always continuing to evolve and give back to the industry.