RABBIT WITH MUSTARD & TARRAGON
by Diana Henry
There isn't masses of meat on a rabbit, but it has much more flavor than chicken, so do try to get hold of it. It delivers a bit of luxury (especially when combined with cream). This recipe is an old-fashioned French classic. The second is very English.
• salt and pepper
• 3 1/3 Ib rabbit parts
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1/2 cap heavy cream
• 4 tsp Dijon mustard
• good squeeze of lemon juice
• leaves from 8 tarragon sprigs
1. Season the rabbit. Heat the butter in a saute pan and brown the parts all over. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, cook the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and return the rabbit. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, then take the lid off and cook for another 20 minutes.
2. Remove the rabbit from the pan, put in a warm dish and cover. Add the cream to the stock and reduce by about half. Add the mustard, lemon juice, and half the tarragon. Reduce again until it is the consistency of single cream; do taste, though-you don't want the sauce to be thick or over salty. Return the rabbit to heat through and stir in the rest of the tarragon just before serving. Lovely with boiled potatoes or ribbons of egg noodles.
Rabbit with bacon and watercress-and-lemon dumplings:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a shallow, ovenproof pan and cook 2 small onions, sliced, until soft but not colored. Add 2 garlic cloves, sliced, and cook for 1 minute. Season. Rub 3 1/3 lb rabbit parts with olive oil, season, and wrap a piece of bacon around each. Set on the onions and drizzle with oil. Tuck in 4 thyme sprigs, pour on 1 cup dry white wine or stock, and simmer for 20 minutes. Make the dumplings by sauteing 1/2 onion, very finely chopped, and 1 garlic clove, crushed, in 3 tbsp butter. Put in a bowl and add 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, 3 oz watercress, chopped, 1¾ cups fresh white bread crumbs, the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon, plus a good squeeze of juice, the leaves from 4 thyme sprigs, 1 large beaten egg, and seasoning. Bring the mixture together and form about 12 little golf ball-sized dumplings. Tuck the dumplings in around the rabbit. Roast for 20 minutes.