Whole roasted rabbit

Roast rabbit

By chance, this post is about rabbit, just as the previous one from some time ago (busy, busy). I made it after reading “Un dîner à poils ou plumes” by Stéphane Reynaud — a lovely cookbook with nice pictures. His warning with this recipe was “not for sensitive souls” and that was not without cause … Read more

Rabbit with garlic and sherry

On Thursday’s there is an organic market in Mirepoix where environment conscious farmers peddle their wares to a small group of equally concerned buyers. I usually like the quality of their goods but am not always ready to pay the price. But when you buy direct from the producer, you end up not spending more than in the supermarket while the seller also makes a decent margin. So, when we happened to be in the town on a Thursday, we ran into a man selling poultry and rabbit. We bought a rabbit and a Guinea fowl, heads on.

We were hosting a dinner party one weekend and I took the rabbit out of the freezer to make a Spanish-style recipe. However, the traditional recipe first deep-fries the rabbit parts in a lot of oil. I braised them in a pan, then put them in the oven.

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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.

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Rabbit with prunes and cider  

Rabbit is relatively lean meat and not expensive. The animals multiply fast and a lot because they have many natural enemies and feature on the menu of various wild animals and birds of prey.

Man has also been catching rabbit for centuries. It easily falls prey to traps and can be blinded with strong lights, and many poor peasant people have eaten rabbit and made recipes with the animal.

The domestication is relatively recent. Rabbits were raised in cages for food and their fur. In France, the “lapin de Garenne” is the main race and the name refers to the wild rabbit running in the fields. Lapin de Clapier is a domestically raised rabbit (clapier is the name of the cage) while most rabbits are now raised in large quantities on industrialised farms.

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Rabbit with mustard and prunes

Rabbit meat is very popular in France which is the fourth-largest producer in the world after China, Italy and Spain with 40 million animals consumed per year. Rabbit meat is a lean kind of meat with little cholesterol but with plenty of proteins, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids. The quality of the meat depends, … Read more