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Rabbit recipes to keep you warm (or chicken, grouse or pheasant)
Our neighbor has been raising rabbits for a few years. It started out innocently enough - a couple of bunnies for the grandchildren at Easter time - and has multiplied like, well, rabbits. A small barn has now been converted totally to the breeding and raising of a variety of rabbits, who manage to co-exist with the ducks and geese running around the place. For a while the grandchildren wouldn’t hear of the bunnies being bred for meat, but practicality soon overcame emotion.
My father used to prepare rabbit a few times a year, usually domestically-raised and purchased through the local butcher. It was one of my favorite meals, and I particularly loved the gravy that accompanied the mellow-flavored white meat.
I’ve searched high and low for rabbit recipes and have found that most all have commonalities: bacon (or added fat or oil of some kind, since rabbit is quite lean), wine (red or white) or beer for the sauce/gravy, and mustard. Yes, mustard was a component of many of the recipes I rustled up. Other items that seem to go well with rabbit include traditional stewing vegetables like onions and carrots, and mushrooms.
Today I share a few of the recipes I found – they have a “comfort food” aspect to them – perfect with our recently dipping temperatures. Remember that all of these recipes can be used successfully with chicken, grouse, or pheasant. Enjoy!
Daube De Lapin ( Rabbit Stew Casserole )
The cook is: Bone Man From food.com (reprinted with permission)
• 3 lbs. rabbit, cut into pieces
• 8 slices bacon, cut into 2-in. strips
• 2 med. onions, thinly sliced
• 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 16 oz. dry white wine (e.g., pino grigio)
• 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp. salt
• 6 black peppercorns
• 2 sprigs fresh parsley
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Combine the marinade ingredients and, in a large casserole dish, pour it over the rabbit. Cover with cling wrap and chill in refrigerator for 12 hours, turning the rabbit 3-4 times during the marinating process.
Dry the rabbit. Strain and reserve the marinade in the refrigerator. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large frying pan, fry the bacon strips until they are crisp. Then remove the bacon to paper towels. In the same pan, in the bacon fat which remains, fry the onions, the chopped garlic, and the carrots for about 5-6 minutes until they are lightly colored. Then add in the rabbit pieces and brown all sides (if there is not enough bacon fat, just add a little cooking oil.).
Add the reserved marinade to the pan and bring it to a boil. Place all pan ingredients including the liquid into a large casserole dish. Add the bacon back in and place into the pre-heated oven for about an hour (until the rabbit becomes tender). Serve hot. Serves 4.
Ken’s Rabbit Recipe
The cook is: Ken Huffman, Melbourne, FL From: It’s a Trenton thing recipe section (Facebook)
• 2 whole rabbits, wild if possible
• 2 Tbsp. English mustard powder
• 2 Tbsp. plain flour
• 1 Tbsp. butter
• 4 small onions, peeled and halved
• 2 celery sticks, chopped
• 10 small carrots, peeled
• A few sprigs thyme
• 1 pint pale ale
• ½ tsp. English mustard
Cut the rabbit into pieces.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mustard powder and flour with a few pinches of salt and black pepper. Toss all the rabbit pieces in the seasoning mix until well coated.
Melt the butter in a large, shallow sauté pan over medium heat. Add the rabbit and brown evenly on all sides, adding butter as required. Add the onions, celery, carrots and thyme, and cook gently until soft and fragrant. Pour over the ale, topping up with just enough water to cover. Simmer gently
for about 45 minutes, adding water if the liquid gets low. When the meat is tender, simmer the liquid a little to thicken, and stir in the mustard before serving with bread and a watercress and endive salad.
Rabbit in Wine ( Lapin au Vin ))
The cook is: Karen From www.raising-rabbits.com (reprinted with permission)
• 6 slices bacon
• 1 1/2 -3 lb. fryer rabbit, cut up
• 2 1/2 c. dry red wine
• 1 can condensed chicken broth
• 1 Tbsp. ketchup
• 1/2 tsp. thyme
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/2 c. cold water
• 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
• 1 jar (16 oz.) whole onions, drained
• 1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from frying pan, drain and crumble.
Cook rabbit pieces in the bacon fat on medium heat until light brown - 5 minutes each side.
Move rabbit into a 4-quart Dutch oven. Stir in crumbled bacon, wine, chicken broth, ketchup, thyme, salt and pepper, and garlic.
Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the thickest pieces are done, approximately 40-45 minutes. Remove rabbit; skim fat, if there is any.
Shake water and flour in a tightly covered container; gradually stir into broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in onions and mushrooms. Return rabbit to sauce. Heat to boiling - approximately 2 minutes.
Serve over a bed of rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. 8 servings. Bon appetit!
Rabbit in Mustard Sauce
The cook is: tigerduck From: food.com (reprinted with permission)
• 1 3.5 lb. rabbit, cut in pieces
• Pepper, freshly ground
• 2 Tbsp. mild mustard
• Olive oil
• 4 med. onions, roughly chopped
• 6 thin slices bacon, cut in 1.5 in. pieces
• 4 Tbsp. flour
• 3 c. chicken stock
• 1 c. white wine
• 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
• 1 c. Half and Half
• 3 -4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
• Thyme ( to garnish)
NOTE: I have doubled the sauce of the original
recipe. You may therefore halve it if you are not as partial to sauce as I am.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove any visible fat from the rabbit meat. Rinse rabbit meat under cold water and drain well with kitchen paper.
Brush pieces with mustard, but do not use too much of it, as it otherwise will burn during the frying process. Generously salt and pepper the meat. Fry the meat pieces in portions in hot olive oil in an oven-safe pot until they have a nice color. Use more oil if necessary. Put browned meat aside.
Fry onions and bacon in the pot you fried the rabbit for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with flour and stir. Add wine and stock and bring to a boil while you keep stirring. Add meat and thyme leaves. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 75- 90 minutes or until tender.
Remove pot from oven and put on stove. Add cream and 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Mix and check if you want to add another tablespoon. Season to taste. Cook for a few minutes on the stove until the sauce is creamy.
Serve on individual plates with mashed potatoes and vegetable of your choice. Garnish meat with thyme sprigs or thyme leaves. Serves 4 to 6.