Lapin Lagarde – rabbit legs in vegetable stew

I am trying out a new online fresh retailer, Tauziet et Co, that allows me to buy goods direct from the producer in southwest France. There is plenty available around here, but not everything. The more you order the smaller the transport fee, so when I do order it is a full carton. That is how two rabbit legs ended up in my freezer.
I wanted to make a light meal and still have a hearty dinner as the temperatures are dropping from Summer highs. I turned to some local seasonal vegetables and made this dish, named after our village. The celery stick was left over from a Friday market where the vegetable lady added it to my order of tomatoes. The Provencal herbs were a gift from my brother when he stayed here.

Ingredients for two

  • Two rabbit legs
  • One onion
  • Four small zucchinis
  • Four big carrots
  • One Espelette pepper
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • One celery stick
  • Some tomato coulis
  • One litre of mushroom stock
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Provencal herbs

Steps
1. First dry the meat and heat the oil in a pan.
2. Clean and chop up the vegetables.
3. Put the rabbit in the hot oil, lower the heat and cook for several minutes on each side to brown the meat. (You may need to use a lid on the pan against spattering oil).
4. Take the rabbit legs from the pan and add the onion and garlic.
5. When it starts to brown, add the zucchinis and carrots and pour in the mushroom stock. (I buy mine in tins of powder to which you add hot water) and the celery stick.
6. Sprinkle some ‘herbes de Provence’ and a cup of tomato coulis.
7. Cut and add the Bask pepper.
8. Cook until the vegetables soften, then add the legs and cook with a lid on over modest heat for 45 minutes or when the rabbit meat feels done when you prick it with a fork.
9. Put the legs aside and cook the remaining stew in the pan on high heat, without a lid, to reduce the volume and thicken the sauce.
10. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with the legs.