February 17, 2013

Rabbit in mustard sauce (Lapin à la moutarde)

I cooked it long back, on New Year’s Eve. I had never really tried French cuisine. It was the first time I was going to cook rabbit. What better way to welcome the New Year than with exploring into a new side of the culinary world. (Even though, I can hardly pronounce the name of the dish correctly). Lapin à la moutarde (Rabbit in mustard sauce) is a classic French country dish. To the delicate flavor of the rabbit meat, the spicy grainy mustard adds a layer of rustic goodness. The dish is prepared by either baking or slowly braising it in a white wine sauce. I used the later technique. The wild mushrooms add to the country flavors, and the crème fraiche gives a rich creamy smoothness. I served it with fingerling potatoes roasted with and flavored with thyme.

You can print the recipe for your kitchen here: PRINTABLE RECIPE

(Serves 4)

1 rabbit (cut into serving pieces)

Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp Dijon mustard

2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
100g wild mushroom
4-5 sage leaves
1 spring of thyme
5-6 black peppercorns
1 spring of tarragon
2 bay leaves
2tbsp white wine vinegar
200ml dry white wine
150ml water
2tbsp Dijon mustard
4tbsp old fashioned mustard
4tbsp crème fraiche

  1. Rub the rabbit pieces with salt, black pepper and Dijon mustard. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the shallots, garlic. Chop the mushrooms in halves (or as necessary). Coarsely chop the herbs.
  3. Heat butter in a casserole. Add the rabbit pieces in a single layer and fry on low-medium heat until colored (6-7 minutes for each side). Do not stir, except when turning the pieces once in between. Let the juices ooze out and start caramelizing.
  4. In the meantime, heat butter in a fry pan. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppercorns, and herbs. On low heat, fry for a couple of minutes. Add seasoning. Fry until onions turn pale golden.
  5. When the rabbit pieces are fried, add the vinegar to the rabbit. Reduce to a syrup consistency.
  6. Boil the water. Also, boil the wine for 30 seconds.
  7. Add the fried onion, mushrooms, and herbs to the rabbit. Add the boiled water and wine. Bring to boil.
  8. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between.
  9. Combine the crème fraiche, Djion mustard, and old fashioned mustard. Add to the rabbit. Mix well such that the sauce is homogenous.
  10. When the rabbit is cooked, gently take them out and keep them in a warm place.
  11. Turn the heat up and cook until the sauce is reduced to half.
  12. Return the rabbit into the casserole. Stir and coat well with the sauce. Serve with seasonal vegetables or fingerling potatoes.

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