Rabbit stew with prunes in Belgian beer

For some reason I often associate rabbit with Belgium and like to make a rabbit stew with prunes in Belgian beer.

Perhaps because we had a rabbit when I was young and it was a Belgian race that grew rather fast. My parents thought they had bought a “dwarf “ rabbit that would live quietly in its cage and eat carrots, lettuce and other greens.

Instead we had a big beast that needed to run outside. It did not stay with us for long and I do not remember whether we ate any rabbit.

In French cuisine, the rabbit is often stewed with prunes that add a sweet taste to the meat and some colouring. Sometimes they add ginger bread or bread with mustard. I reserve the mustard for another rabbit dish.

Ingredients

  • One rabbit
  • Two shallots
  • 200 grams of prunes (soaked)
  • A large bottle of Belgian beer such as Chimay Double
  • Two tablespoons of flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wine vinegar
  • Bay leave, thyme and rosemary
  • Butter and oil

 

Steps

  1. Cut the rabbit in pieces and put them in a bowl with the herbs, pepper , a dash of vinegar, the cut up shallots and the beer. Leave overnight.
  2. Take out the pieces of rabbit and pat them dry.
  3. Discard the herbs, remove the onion with a slotted spoon and reserve the liquid.
  4. Heat butter in a skillet and brown the rabbit pieces in batches, turning them on all sides. Set aside when brown and start another batch, adding butter if and when needed.
  5. In a large cast iron pan, bring some oil to the heat and add the pieces of rabbit.
  6. Add the flour and stir so that the flour browns. Add the liquid and stir. Add the onions. Bring to the boil while stirring, reduce the heat and cook for some 30 minutes, turning the pieces of rabbit from time to time.
  7. After this time, add the prunes and cook for another 15 minutes without the lid on the pan. Test the meat and continue cooking when not yet tender. Taste and add salt and pepper.
  8. If there is too much liquid, you can remove the rabbit, prunes and onions and reduce the liquid on high heat before serving.
  9. You can also add any giblets to the liquid with the prunes.