Rabbit has been one type of meat that has intimidated me in the kitchen, though I love eating it! My darling Jules mentioned this dish, and I had to try making it. The process took a few hours, mostly because you use the least meaty parts of the rabbit to make your own rabbit stock. But the end result was insanely delicious – tender pieces of rabbit, served with a side of vegetables, and lovely glasses of Aligote!
Make the stock: In a heavy dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat, and brown the parts of the rabbit that have very little meat (the front of the rib cage) as well as the head if available. (Reserve the saddle, cut in 3 pieces, the thighs, and the forelegs for the dish.) When the rabbit pieces are browned on all sides, add the vegetables (except the bouquet garni), and brown lightly, stirring, for 5-10 minutes. Add the bouquet and water to cover. Bring to a boil and skim. Turn the heat to low and partially cover the pot. Simmer 3-4 hours. Strain, pressing down on the solids and discarding them. Return the stock to the dutch oven or medium saucepan if it is already somewhat reduced, place over medium heat, and reduce by 2/3. Pour into a small saucepan and continue reducing until 1/3 cup remains. Reserve.
Meanwhile, three hours before serving, combine the two mustards with a generous pinch of salt and grindings of black pepper. Smear the remaining rabbit pieces with the mustard, thoroughly covering them, and arranging them in a single layer in a gratin or baking dish. Set aside in a cool place for 2-3 hours.