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)
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