Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lapin au Vin (Rabbit Stew)

The first time I had rabbit was in 1989 in Paris. I was visiting my little sister who was working and going to school there at the time. My older sister and her husband were in Paris at the same time for the same reason. The trip itself was loads of fun and filled with lots of first time eating experiences but one of the most memorable was the day I was wondering around Paris on my own and stumbled across a small out of the way bistro in the 12th arrondisement. I ordered a rabbit stew that was served with simple boiled potatoes a green salad and a carafe of red wine. The weather that day was foggy, drizzling and cold (It was December after all) so the meal was perfect to warm me up. The bowl of stew came out steaming, I took my first bite and the rabbit was tender and slightly sweet with a subtle hint of barnyard gaminess. It went perfectly with the lightly boiled potatoes sprinkled with a dusting of parsely and fresh cracked black pepper. Ever since that meal I have been a big fan of rabbit and order it whenever I can. Recently a new upscale market opened in my neighborhood and they sell fresh farm raised rabbit. While it is neither foggy or cold in southern California at the moment I could not resist trying to recapture my Lapin au Vin.

Lapin au Vin
1 fresh rabbit cut into 6 pieces (see picture)
1 cup flour (seasoned)
4 slices thick cut streaky bacon (diced)

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion diced
4 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon thyme
8 crimini mushrooms
2 carrots diced
1 stalk celery (diced)
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

Cut up the rabbit and rinse in cold water and dry (make sure to remove the kidenys on the inside of the rabbit set aside for a nice little snack later - simply season with salt and pepper and suatee in a little butter). Sautee diced bacon until fat is rendered and crisp. Remove bacon set aside for later. Season rabbit with salt and pepper and dredge in seasoned flour. Add butter to hot pot and rendered bacon fat and brown rabbit pieces in batches until browned all over. Set rabbit pieces aside. Sautee onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaves and sautee 2 minutes. Add wine reduce by 25% add rabbit pieces and chicken stock until it almost covers rabbit. Simmer for 90 minutes. Remove rabbit pieces from stock and let cool. Strain solids from stock and discard. Place strained stock back in pot with rabbit that has been removed from bone and shredded. Add diced carrots and mushrooms and simmer for 30 minutes. If too dry add more stock or water. Adjust seasoning and serve with mashed potatoes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks soo good and pretty straight forward. May I ask where you bought your rabbit?