Tonight, one of the blogs I follow from New Zealand, Willowbrook Park, posted on a shooting party at a neighbouring estate and provided the recipe for a delicious rabbit pie served by the hosts at the end of the shoot. The writer mentioned how delicious it tasted and how surprising it was to him that he had never tried rabbit before. I posted back that I had been hesitant to add my rabbit recipe to the blog for fear of offending some of my readers. As luck would have it, and much to my horror, while I was looking at the recipe already in the works awhile back, I must have pressed the publish button, instead of the save one, and there it was, half in French, half in English, with no introduction, for the whole world to see (well, not really). Oy vey, so here we are...damage control time!
Now, before you go into a tizzy, I'm not talking the Easter Bunny kind of rabbit or even that scoundrel Bugs Bunny, or even the ones they have at the pet store, but wild rabbit, ladies and gents, the kind that wreaks havoc to farmers crops and destroys the harvest. I know, they are cute too, but they are also edible, tasty, low in fat and very underrated in this country. As a matter of fact, you would be hard pressed to find rabbit in most of the restaurants in this country; whereas in Europe, particularly France, it is a very common item on the menu. As an introduction, I am posting a French classic, Lapin a la Moutarde, Rabbit in Mustard Sauce, a favorite of mine and my daughter, the animal lover.
You will find rabbit in a lot of grocery stores in the same place you find duck, turkey and goose. These usually come from Florida, but I am sure that now that I'm in Georgia, where there is a lot of hunting, I will find a local source to buy fresh. Do try it, it is better than chicken!
Ingredients (for 1 rabbit):
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 3 TB of Dijon mustard
- 1 small jar of cream
- Olive oil (or butter)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 shallots
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Parsley, salt, pepper
- 1/2 tsp.sugar
- 1 carrot finely chopped(optional)
Cut the rabbit into pieces and brush lightly with mustard and olive oil. Place in a bowl, covered, and let it sit for at least a couple of hours. Add about 2 TB olive oil or butter to the pan and brown the pieces. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Add a little more oil to the pan (if needed) and brown the sliced shallots and the garlic. Add the bay leaves, thyme, carrot and a pinch of sugar. Add the rabbit back and pour 3/4 bottle of the white wine (drink the rest). Add salt and pepper and let simmer for 1 hour, covered.
When the rabbit pieces are cooked, place them on a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley.
Strain what is left in the pan after you remove the rabbit and add the cream. Taste for mustard and add some if needed. Cook 1 minute without boiling and coat the rabbit pieces with this mixture. Add additional parsley for garnish, if desired.