Recipe: Venison Porchetta Stuffed with Rabbit Loin
Outdoor Hub Staff 12.14.16
Post whitetail rut, and I have this beautiful, fresh venison roast staring at me. How about you? Sound familiar? And I’ve also got a rabbit that needs to be broken down and prepared.
Now, there are plenty of scrumptious recipes shared by the Divine Order of Online Venison Cookers, Eaters, and Bloggers on producing succulent, juicy meat served smoked, or roasted, slathered in sauces, or reductions, and served up with lovely rustic root vegetables and fall’s harvest of perfect potatoes. Heck, I have written a few of those myself.
But for this handsome hunk of red meat, I wanted something decidedly more imaginative and gnarly. Something that could be served warm, or would be equally impressive served cold on crusty ciabatta with a smear of Dijon, the snap of a cornichon pickle, and sweet dripping juice of a plump, flavorful heirloom tomato. Something on the order of Turducken, but more twisted, or at the very least, a tied roulade.
Thankfully, my inspiration came at the deli counter of my local Italian Market. There, I gazed with envy at the butcher. His stainless-steel slicer whirred powerfully and precisely producing mounds of shaved salumeria, and particularly porchetta – a smoked, rolled pork roast seasoned liberally with salt, fennel, garlic, and rosemary, or dill.
After consulting with a chef friend, we devised our own recipe for a “vorchetta,” a venison roast stuffed with wild rabbit loin that could be savored warm, or cold, and would allow me to create my own deli-thin mounds of meat using my Chef’s Choice Professional 665 Electric Food Slicer (below).
Just for the record, my slicer is a masterpiece of form and function! Handsomely styled, it has a rugged, commercial quality appliance. It has die cast aluminum construction and excellent stability and rigidity that allows for accurate slicing. After watching the deli butcher rip through a variety of Italian charcuterie, I couldn’t wait to get my 3-pound rabbit stuffed vorchetta on the large-capacity, cantilevered food carriage of the Chef’s Choice slicer. And I wasn’t disappointed. The 665’s powerful, cool-running, high-torque motor and high-quality multipurpose stainless-steel serrated blade provided continuous, non-stop slicing and made the recipe below a breeze.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Venison Porchetta Stuffed with Rabbit Loin:
3-3½ lb. venison roast (brined for 24 hours prior to using)
Two rabbit loins
2 T approx. fennel seed (could also use thinly sliced fresh bulb)
1 T approx. dried dill
Preheat smoker to 225 degrees. Butterfly the roast, trim, and remove silver skin. Remove loin from rabbit saddle.
Generously season the butterflied roast with fennel, dill, kosher salt and cracked pepper. Place loins on one end of roast and season with a little salt and pepper.
Roll and tie the roast into with cotton butcher’s twine.
Put in preheated smoker and smoke for 2 hours using hickory wood.
Finish in the oven at 325 degrees until internal temp is 160 degrees for rabbit. Venison only needs to be 145 degrees. After roast cools to handle, place in fridge.
When cooled, slice for sandwiches.
About the Author: Raised a Minnesota farm-girl in a hunting family, Krissie Mason (below) is an outdoorswoman, food enthusiast, and has been reconnecting with her culinary country roots and family hunting traditions of late. She is the brains and brawn behind Scratch + Holler media, and a regular contributor to several outdoor websites. Krissie fully supports a field-to-fork wild food chain, and especially enjoys expanding pantries and stretching wild game palates with her ambitious and delicious wild game recipes.