Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 or 2 teaspoons for greasing
- 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 rabbit (about 2 ½ pounds), dressed and cut into 8 pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced carrot
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or leaves from 2 fresh sprigs
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or leaves from 5 fresh sprigs
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup canola oil or butter
- ½ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup diced carrot
- ¼ cup diced celery
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or leaves from 3 fresh sprigs
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary or leaves from 1 fresh sprig
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet with the extra butter.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a small knife, cut the 6 tablespoons butter into small pieces and distribute throughout the flour. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, mash the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add the buttermilk and mix briefly, just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into a dough. Add the cheese and mix lightly; overmixing will make the biscuits tough.
- Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead it briefly, working in more flour, if necessary, so that it is not completely sticky. Pat it out to a thickness of 1½-2 inches. Cut with a 3½-inch round cookie cutter or the floured rim of a drinking glass or any shape you desire. Pat the scraps together and cut out more biscuits.
- Place the first biscuit at the center of the prepared baking sheet. Nestle the other biscuits around the first one so the sides are touching. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Set aside.
- While the biscuits bake, start the rabbit.
- Season the rabbit pieces generously with salt and pepper. Gradually heat the oil in a 7 Quart Dutch Oven over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the rabbit and brown well on all sides. Do not crowd the pot; work in batches if you need to. Transfer the rabbit to a plate as it browns.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the wine, stock, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and bring to a low boil. Turn off the heat, add the rabbit back to the pot, and cover.
- When the biscuits come out of the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the Dutch oven in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the lid, rotate the rabbit pieces, re-cover, and place back in the oven for another 30-45 minutes. After 1-1½ hours of braising, the rabbit should be fork tender; if it isn’t, cook a little longer. When the rabbit is good and tender, remove the pieces to a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place the Dutch oven over low heat.
- In a 10.25 Inch Skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion starts to soften. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan, to make a thick roux. Jimmy likes to use a wooden spoon for this. Continue stirring and scraping for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the herbs.
- Turn the heat to medium-high on the Dutch oven. When the braising liquid just starts to come to a boil, reduce the heat back to low and slowly add the roux while constantly stirring or whisking. When it has all been added and the sauce is nice and smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to barely a simmer.
- Reheat the rabbit and biscuits in the oven for 10-15 minutes (it’s a good idea to do this when you start making the roux). When the rabbit and biscuits are nice and hot, remove from the oven, open up the biscuits, place a piece of the braised rabbit on top, ladle the hot sauce over the rabbit, and serve.