Oven-roasted Pork and Rabbit Arista e Coniglio Arrosto al Forno
Pork and rabbit are an excellent combination when infused with garlic and rosemary. However, this dish could also be made with pork alone.
- Boneless Pork Loin - 2-1/2 pounds
- Fresh Rosemary Leaves - 4 sprigs
- Garlic Cloves - 4, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Rabbit - 1 (about 3 pounds)
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Dry Red Wine - 2 cups
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Trim the pork loin of excess fat, slice it almost in half lengthwise, and set aside. Mince the rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, make 5 evenly spaced 1-1/2- to 2-inch-deep incisions all around the pork loin. Place 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic-rosemary mixture in each pocket, then add 1/2 teaspoon of butter to each pocket. Sprinkle the inside of the loin with salt, pepper, and half of the rosemary mixture and dot with 2-1/2 tablespoons of the butter. Roll up the loin with the rosemary mixture on the inside, then tie the roast closed with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals.
Trim the rabbit of any excess fat and place the carcass on its back. Pull each leg away from the body, then use a sharp knife to cut through the meat and the joint to separate the leg from the loin. Locate the breastbone and use a heavy knife to split and remove it. Run your finger down the rabbit’s ribcage to locate the backbone. Use the tip of the knife to scrape each rib bone away from the meat along one side, stopping when you reach the thin skin at the base of the backbone. Repeat with the other side of the rabbit and remove the breastbone.
Season the inside of the rabbit with salt, pepper, and some of the remaining rosemary mixture. Top with 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter and fold the rabbit’s skin like a package. Tie the rabbit using the same method as the pork loin. Make 2 incisions in each of the reserved legs at 1-inch intervals and stuff each one with the remaining herb mixture and 1 teaspoon of butter.
Place the pork and rabbit in a large roasting pan. Drizzle the meats with the olive oil and roast in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, turning the meat regularly to ensure even browning. At this point the pork should register 155 F on an instant-read meat thermometer.
Remove the pan from the oven and place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the wine to the pan, stirring to dislodge the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue to turn the roasts occasionally while cooking the wine to reduce it by two-thirds to a syrupy consistency. Transfer the meat to a serving platter, slice, and serve with the roasting juices and wine reduction.
Note: The meats may be prepared for roasting up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, tightly covered. Let the meats sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.