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Braised Rabbit with Mustard Sauce
Domestic raised rabbit is 3 to 5 pounds of smooth white meat fore and aft.  It's readily available, fresh or frozen, whole or cut, if you look for it.  Rabbit is about as easy to cut into pieces as chicken but you will need a good shears or cleaver as rabbit bones are strong.  Last summer, at the local farmers' market, an Amish farmer from Orange Virginia  had beautiful frozen whole rabbit.  I bought two and did the first one with prunes and red wine.  It was too heavy and the red wine discolored the meat--never again.  This time, inspired by a recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook, we had a braised rabbit that elicited repeated yums around the table.  The cookbook recipe was under seasoned and recommended a cooking time that was too short.    Here is my version of this bistro dish:

Braised Rabbit with Mustard Sauce
See Abbreviations, if needed 
1         dressed rabbit cut into serving pieces (8-10)
3T       herbes de Provence
4T       EVOO
3/4C    sliced shallots or onion
3          stocks of celery, sliced 
3T        butter
S/P      (watch the salt if using salted chicken broth)
2C       white wine
3C       chicken stock (check salt content if using broth)
2T        dijon mustard
2T        whole grain mustard
1T        cornstarch

1.  Cut the rabbit as desired and rub each piece with herbes de Provence and S/P
2.  Heat some EVOO in a big Dutch oven, add rabbit pieces in batches, brown the pieces well
     and set them aside 
3.  Clean the Dutch oven, add butter and some EVOO
4.  Sauté the onions and celery to translucent
5.  Add the wine, BTB and reduce by half 
6.  Return the rabbit to the pot, add the stock, add a little more pepper and herbes
     (be sure to place the legs at the bottom of the pot as they are tougher than the back pieces)
7.  Cover and BTB, then simmer on the stove top for about 2 hours (at very low heat--just enough to
     burp a boiling bubble every second or so)
8.  When done, remove the rabbit pieces and set them aside in a warm place
9.  Scoop out the onions and celery with a strainer 
10.  Spoon out about a half cup of the broiling liquid and let cool in a ramekin--when cooled 
      to the touch, add the cornstarch and mustards and whisk them about 
11.  BTB the rest of the broiling liquid and reduce to 2+ cups
12.  Add the cornstarch-mustard mixture, BTB and then simmer the pot to thicken the sauce
13.  Taste and correct seasoning, if necessary
14.  Transfer the sauce to a heated gravy tug
15.  Transfer the rabbit to a heated serving platter and serve immediately onto heated plates
       with the mustard sauce
 


 

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