tastes like chicken (not really): lapin à la moutarde

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!



Rabbit with mustard sauce (Lapin à la moutarde)

Ingredients:

1 farm-raised or wild rabbit, cut into serving pieces, including the head if possible
1/2 c. smooth Dijon mustard (moutarde forte)
1/2 c. old-fashioned grainy Dijon mustard (moutarde à l’ancienne)
Kosher or flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. dry white wine, such as Chablis
1 c. crème fraîche
2 T. snipped fresh chives

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
2 leafy stalks celery, sliced
Bouquet garni of 6 parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf, and 6 leafy thyme sprigs
6 peppercorns

Optional: A dozen or more freshly pulled white onions 1-2 inches in diameter, peeled but left whole, cooked with water to cover, 1 T. butter, and 1 1/2 t. sugar until the water is evaporated and the onions starting to caramelize.

 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.

About 50 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rabbit, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Open the oven and pour the wine and the reserved reduced rabbit stock over the rabbit, then bake 20 minutes more. Remove the dish from the oven and drizzle the crème fraîche over the rabbit. Return to the oven for 5 minutes more. If using the onions, gently strew them over the dish. Sprinkle with the snipped chives.


Et voila!


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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

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