Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Rabbit weekend

Last weekend was dedicated to the rabbit which had been sitting in my freezer since I picked it up at the London Farmer's Market in Broadgate in August.

My guide for rabbit adventure was Week in Week out by Simon Hopkinson. It has an entire section devoted to jointing and then cooking the different rabbit parts.

I started off with the whole rabbit

and ended up with two shoulders, a saddle and two legs:

I started off with the slow braised rabbit shoulders with white beans and parsley for lunch on Saturday.
Great lunch time fodder; hearty, warming and incredibly easy.

Then I moved on to the saddle for dinner:

I had these quick braised saddles with some Purple Majesty potato mash. Delicious.

Sunday's dinner was a fitting finale as I used the legs to make lapin à la Dijonnaise.

I think I paid tribute to the rabbit with these three dishes. Each was wonderful and made me wish I was in the French countryside, rather than in a flat in the capital. However, I think my heavy handedness with quantities reared its head once again. Rabbit's quite a subtle flavour and the copious amount of sauce and side dishes I had may have masked the other flavours (especially the rich cream mustard sauce of the finale).

Nevertheless it was a great weekend of eating.

On to the recipes:

Slow braised rabbit shoulders with white beans and parsley

1 tin haricot beans
2 rabbit shoulders
4 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
300ml water
100ml white wine
Handful of parley, chopped

1. Season the rabbit and brown in olive oil. Add the garlic and fry until slightly coloured.
2. Add the beans, wine, water and bay leaves and the 2tbsp olive oil. Cover and bake at 150°C for 1-11/2 hours, until the beans are soft.

Quick braised rabbit saddles with lemon, rosemary and white wine

Rabbit saddle, trimmed of sinew
2 glasses white wine
2/3 sprigs rosemary
Juice lemon

1. Season the rabbit and fry until golden in olive oil.
2. Add 1 glass white wine and the rosemary. Partially cover and leave to simmer until nearly all the wine has evaporated, ~10-15mins.
3. Turn the saddles over add the remaining wine and half the lemon juice and cook, uncovered, for ~10minutes until the juices have mingled and the saddle is firm to the touch.
4. Add the remaining lemon juice and remove the saddle to rest.
5. Carve the met from both sides and serve with the juices.

Lapin à la Dijonnaise

2 rabbit legs
25g butter
2 shallots, chopped
150ml dry white wine
100ml dry cider
200ml double cream
2tsp Dijon mustard
Lemon juice, to taste

1. Season the rabbit and brown all over in butter.
2. Remove rabbit from pan and sweat off shallots.
3. Add the wine and cider and reduce by half.
4. Add the rabbit back into pan and bring back to the simmer.
5. Put in an oven at 170°C for 40mins. Turn the rabbit legs half way through.
6. Once baked, remove the rabbit from the pan and strain the cooking liquor.
7. Add the cream and reduce until the desired consistency is reached. Then whisk in the mustard and lemon juice. Season to taste.
8. Return the rabbit legs to the pan to warm.


  1. it's like a rabbit massacre! but one wit a tasty finish!

  2. @Dom
    It'd only be a massacre if I'd been the one shooting the rabbits! Mind you that does sound like a good weekend trip. Definitely a tasty end though.

    I can't take any of the credit it's all down to Simon Hopkinson's great book. If you've never had rabbit before you should definitely check it out.


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