Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Lapin à la moutarde

My weekend visit to the butcher (the one who was down in the dumps) yielded a wild rabbit which I decided to turn into the great French bistro dish Lapin à la moutarde. There are two ways of making it - smothering the pieces with mustard then roasting them or cooking them in stock then adding the mustard - and cream if using - at the end, a technique favoured in my battered copy of Poor Cook.

As I wasn't sure how tough or tender the rabbit was I decided on a halfway house, pot-roasting it in a relatively small amount of liquid to get a nice caramelised effect than adding more stock and the mustard. Just as well as it took almost two hours. Here's the recipe:

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 rabbit, jointed
75g bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme or tarragon or 1/2 tsp dried thyme or tarragon
1 glass of white wine (about 150ml)
350ml chicken stock
3-5 tsp Dijon mustard (depending how hot it is and how much you like mustard)
2 heaped tbsp crème fraiche or double cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a deep casserole and fry the lardons or bacon until beginning to brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon then brown the rabbit pieces. Remove them from the pan then cook the onion over a low heat till soft. Stir in the garlic and thyme or tarragon, add the white wine and bubble up till it has almost evaporated. Add half the chicken stock then return the rabbit to the pan. Put a lid on the pan and cook in a moderate oven (180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender, topping up the stock if necessary. Add a splash more wine and as much of the stock as you need to make a thin and stir in mustard to taste, depending how strong it is. (The mustard will also thicken the sauce) Reheat gently without boiling. Stir in the crème fraiche or cream and sprinkle with parsley. Probably best with boiled new potatoes (although I served it with roast Jerusalem artichokes and some wilted wild garlic)

I'm off on my travels again tomorrow, this time to Toronto (my first visit to Canada) so probably won't post again till the middle of next week. Unless I find some bargain maple syrup . . .


SheyMouse said...

This recipe is perfect timing. I have a rabbit in the freezer and was wondering what to do with it.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

My dad used to cook rabbit a lot when I was a child but every time I've done it always comes out a bit chewy. Might try your method.

My youngest son refers to mustard as moo turd, this reminded me to blog it.

recipes2share said...

Have a great trip - I love maple syrup with cream & whiskey on porridge when skiing!! - lunch though, not breakfast!

Fiona Beckett said...

Glad to be of use, Shey!

Yes, rabbit needs time, Amanda - longer than you think, unless you know it's a young one. (Love the expression moo turd. Kids can be so funny)

Not sure the amount of exercise I'll be taking (virtually nil) will justify maple syrup with cream and whisky recipes2share but will report back!

Frugalhomekeeping said...

I have never cooked wild game-so I'll admit that I'm a little intimidated by it. It was interesting to read your blog.If any hunter friends ever give me some of their catch I'll know what to do. Thanks.

Sam said...

I don't often get the chance to eat rabbit but it is delicious. This recipe sounds great!

Fiona Beckett said...

Glad it appealed. Another favourite recipe is rabbit pie. Will post that sometime too!