Braised Rabbit with Dijon Mustard & Rosemary

I hadn’t had rabbit in a while so snapped one up at the local butcher’s this morning. It was cheaper than chicken so seemed like a good buy all round. After an hour long debate on what to cook we settled on this French casserole. It’s very easy to make. However, a word of advice – I would ask your butcher to joint the rabbit. I didn’t and therefore spent a while trying to decipher the best way to chop it up – needless to say, it looked like roadkill by the end and I narrowly avoided adding the tip of my finger to the ingredients with my unwieldy cleaver skills. The casserole itself is a rich, slightly sweet/sour gravy with a soft, melting meat. Truly delicious!

For the marinade:

1 Rabbit (wild or farmed) about 750g – jointed
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup red wine
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig parsley
1 clove garlic (finely chopped)

Other ingredients:
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion (thinly sliced)
2 slices bacon (unsmoked) (roughly chopped)
3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 medium tomato (finely chopped)

To marinade:

Combine all the ingredients together with the rabbit in a large sealable plastic bag and place in the fridge and marinade for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180ºC, remove the rabbit and pat dry. Pick out the parsley and rosemary and discard the marinade.

Heat a large casserole pan with the oil until hot. Lightly dust the meat with flour and fry in half batches until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan. Add the bacon and onion and fry for 5 minutes until the onion is lightly browned. Add the garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper and fry for 1 minute. Add the mustard and tomato and stir for 1-2 minutes then return the meat to the pan. Turn up the heat to high then pour in the white wine. Let it sizzle then come to a boil. Cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Drop in the rosemary and parsley, cover the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once or twice.

I served with potatoes Parisienne (recipe coming soon) and brussel sprouts with almonds.

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