A confit is an ancient cooking technique where meat is cooked in its own fat. The most well known being Duck, but it can really be anything (even Garlic!). Coming from the French word Confire, confit means to preserve. Now, cooking in fat may sound eerily similar to that preferred cooking method of the deep South, Deep Fat frying, however the time and temperature are drastically different. Deep fat frying is typically done at 350-400 degrees for seconds or minutes. Confit, by contrast, is done at levels much lower (we cook ours at 180) over a several hours, and lends itself to the tougher cuts of meat that require braising due to the high connective tissues. Once cooked, the meat remains submerged under the fat, which cools forming an impenetrable layer with the pasteurized meat underneath and thus requires no refrigeration.
While normally associated with Duck, we are using Rabbit legs. We will salt cure the legs for 24 hours and then cook them sous vide for 8 hours at 167 degrees in duck fat. The rabbit will be served with Double Smoked Pork Belly for a contrast of both texture are richness.
Gnocchi can be made two different ways, with Potatoes or with Pâte à Choux. Pâte à Choux is a versatile pastry dough that is made by adding flour to boiling butter and water. The steam of the water puffs the pastry, rather than relying on a rising agent such as yeast. The starches of the flour gel to incorporate the water into a dough to which eggs are added to the desired consistency. This technique is used for all kinds of sweets, most well known being the eclair. Here, the Gnocchi will be infused with herbs and lightly poached in water for this classic savory dish.
The Brussels Sprouts will be simply blanched. The Mustard Sauce is a combination of Garlic Confit, Chicken Stock, Crème Fraîche and Dijon Mustard.