Bunnies – never too cute to go on the plate

Cath and I have settled partially into Paris which is quite the change after Saudi. I say partially as we have so much more to learn about this city. One Sunday morning pleasure we have already is a visit to Les Sablons market. I was a little tentative taking the kids there the first time knowing we were going to see lots of piglets, chickens etc looking a lot more whole than on supermarket styrofoam dishes, something new to them. Evie did us proud on seeing the first piglet hung from one stall proclaiming “Can we eat that one?” On one of our first visits I saw an enormous dish of ready made Rabbit in Mustard Sauce. Here’s my version.
Chop up about 8 oz of thick fatty bacon into good chunks or lardons. Fry them off in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until they become well browned- at this point promise to yourself for what won’t be the last time that you’ll stop pinching bits (which has already caused a good 1 oz to go already).
You’ll need a good sized rabbit– I bought one and two extra rear legs as I was cooking for 5. The rabbits here are excellent- lots of flesh and delicious. Cut the legs off the rabbit and divide the saddle. Cath had already made sure I ensure it was a rabbit and not a… well best not go into that for the squeamish (purrrrr). I removed the kidneys, liver and neck section. Liberally season and brown in the pan which you removed the bacon from. Stop eating the bacon! Don’t crowd the pan-I used a 12 in Le Creuset. Hot and quick to get a good browning for lots of flavour.
Remove the rabbit and add one medium onion,2 cloves crushed garlic, 3 chopped leeks, a chopped carrot and two stalks chopped celery. Brown and the bottom of the pan should deglaze with a little oil and the veggies.
Replace the rabbit and the bacon (hopefully there is some left) and pour in 4 cups of HARD cider. 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh tyme and half a hand full of fresh tarraon leaves. 3 -4 very generous tablespoons of seeded Dijon mustard. Frankly I think I actually had about double this amount of mustard but I love it…. Stir in a good cup of cream.
Fill the casserole dish with good chicken stock until all the rabbit is just about covered and place in oven with a lid (the casserole dish -I think ovens themselves already have lids…or maybe that’s the door… not really important…).
Bake until the rabbit is nice and tender at about 170 deg C max. If the sauce is too liquid strain it off and reduce in another pan (perhaps add some butter).
Serve with rice or pasta…… Served it last night and everyone loved it. Like any recipe go with your instinct- the right mix of cream, tarragon and mustard is the key….

Matt B

Author: Matt B

Was in Houston, now is Saudia Arabia with my fantastic family. Missing our friends in Houston!

One thought on “Bunnies – never too cute to go on the plate”

  1. Mmmm Rabbit. You can’t beat a good rabbit can you? Sounds delicious Matt. We’ve been doing rabbit quite a bit lately, since it’s such a healthy, low-cholesterol meat. A lot tastier than chicken too.

    Your recipe sounds fantastic, and we will definitely be trying it soon. Will post the results here.

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