Braised Rabbit with Mustard
It is probably the biggest divider between our two nations. The French on one hand look at the rabbit as food, the British as a pet (inedible and uneatable). I my childhood home we ate this dish every other Sunday. I clearly remember Maman Blanc having misty eyes as she fed her rabbits every day.
|1||Whole farmed rabbit (1.5-2kg) cut into 14 pieces (1x head, 1x neck, 2x shoulders, 2x legs, 3x saddle, 3x rib cage, 2x belly)|
|4 pinches||Sea salt|
|4 pinches||Black pepper, crushed|
|1 large tbsp||Dijon mustard|
|180g||Onion cut into 6|
|8 cloves||Garlic, skin on|
|150g||Small button mushrooms|
|2 tbsp||White wine vinegar|
|200ml||White wine(*2) boiled for 30 second, reserved|
|8||Whole black peppercorns (*3)|
|1 tbsp||Chopped parsley|
Preparing the rabbit
Preheat the oven to 120°C. In a large bowl, season the pieces of rabbit with the salt and pepper, mix in the mustard until each piece is coated by a thin film of mustard.
Cooking the rabbit
- In a thick bottomed, large casserole dish on a medium heat, melt the butter and cook until ightly foaming, sear and colour the legs, shoulder pieces, neck and head on each side for 7-8 minutes (*4). Repeat in a separate pan with the Saddle pieces and then remove to a plate.
- Whist the rabbit pieces are browning, in a separate small saucepan, on a medium heat sweeten the onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppercorns and herbs in 20g of butter for 10 minutes until lightly golden(*5). Season a little after 2 minutes.
- Add the vinegar(*6) to the rabbit and reduce the liquor down to a syrup.
- To the legs, shoulders, neck and head, mix in the garlic, onion and herbs, add the wine and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook in the pre-heated oven for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add the browned saddle pieces to the pan and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serving the rabbit
- To finish the dish allow the liquid to reduce on a high heat by 1/3.
- Pour the sauce over the pieces of rabbit, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve with carrots, French beans, Swiss chard, braised lettuce or any other seasonal vegetables.
- Transfer to the table and let your guests help themselves.