Sunday, 26 April 2009

marmite de lapin

It's ANZAC day weekend, which in Canberra not only means acts of solemn remebrance and outbreaks of jingoism masquerading as national unity, but is traditionally the first real weekend of winter. Like all such traditions sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. This weekend it most certainly was, and while on Friday we made it down to Pebbly Beach for a walk through the bush followed by a surprisingly warm paddle, it was starting to rain when we stopped off in Batemans's Bay for flake and chips at the Boatshed - possibly one of the best fish and chip restaurants on the south coast - and the drive back was through rain and sleet. Yesterday was cold and windy, reaching a maximum of 11C with sleet showers, and only now on Sunday afternoon has the sleet stopped and blue sky appeared.

So what does this to do with rabbit casserole?

Well Judi went to Fyshwick market on Thursday and bought a rabbit, as well as the usual other supplies. This is because we've had this long running argument that I'm not so keen on rabbit (nasty stringy field shot stuff) which is countered with the 'well you never let me cook it' argument.

So presented with a fait accompli one gives in gracefully, and when asked to find a web recipe to cross check the details of half remembered newspaper cutting leaps off to help. And certainly this is a warming casserole weekend. We're even seriously considering lighting the wood fire, something we didn't have to do to June last year.

Now the web is a wonderful source of recipes for cassoulet, stifado, jamaican goat curry and the rest, so you'd think there would be a similar plethora of rabbit recipes on the web.

Nope. All very basic, most of them Australian, and the same recipe repeated with a slight variation. So if the anglophone world seems against rabbit, let's try french. Nope, again a few recipes but nothing spectacular, all the more strange given that French supermarkets are heaving with the stuff - most odd.

You'd almost believe that it was a conspiracy. (Incidentally I even checked a couple of medieval cooking sites and they were similarly coneyless).

So, this is what we ended up with:

Rabbit Casserole Regionale

prep time 30 mins :: cooking time 2 hours or so

1 x 1kg rabbit

100g flour seasoned with salt and black pepper

50-60 ml olive oil

1 brown onion chopped

2-3 carrots sliced

2 parsnips sliced(or a small turnip - basically you're making a country casserole)

1 small tart apple peeled, cored and chopped (actually we skipped this, but it might work with cider)

1/2 leek

2-3 brown mushrooms

200ml dry white wine (I've seen versions with cider, or beer, but without the apple)

1 tablespoon good quality dijon mustard

2 teaspoons seasoning

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 bay leaf


Preheat the oven to 200C cut the rabbit into pieces and coat with seasoned flour.

Add and heat the olive oil in a flame proof casserole dish. Brown the rabbit on both sides and remove from casserole.

Place the onion, carrots, parsnips and apple in the casserole.

Fry until lightly coloured then pour in the wine. Stir in the mustard and seasoning.

Heat gently, stirring continuously until simmering.

Return the rabbit to the casserole add the bay leaf and the thyme.

Cover and place in the oven cook for 1½ to 2 hours until the rabbit is tender.

Check periodically and add the leek and mushrooms about 30 minutes before it's ready to serve

Adjust seasoning, remove the bay leaf and serve. Drink with a decent pinot noir or shiraz.

1 comment:

Doc said...

You probably missed this one:

Coney in Civey

While I'm happy to cook and eat rabbit, I don't research and interpret them very often (I run one of those medieval cooking sites) because of the scarcity of rabbit (it's too expensive in the store and I can't get anyone to raise it for me cheaply) and because so few people are interested in eating it nowadays.

So maybe it's one of those circular, self-fulfilling things. No one publishes recipes for rabbit because no one wants recipes for rabbit because ...