Recipe by: Jennifer Zalewski
Wine-Braised Rabbit in Mustard Crème Sauce
Serves approx. 4 people
Prep/Cooking Time approx. 1 hour 20 minutes
1 small to medium rabbit, about 3-5 lbs, cut into approx. 6 pieces
3 T. olive oil, bacon fat or lard
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 c. dry white wine
2-1/2 c. chicken stock
2/3 c. crème fraiche (or sour cream, plain yogurt, or heavy cream)
2 stems of thyme leaves or 1/2 t. dried thyme
12 sage leaves
1-1/2 T. whole grain mustard
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. capers, drained and rinsed, chopped
1/4 c. thinly sliced chives
egg noodles or wide pasta noodles (pappardelle) for serving
Pat dry rabbit pieces, then salt and pepper generously. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Place a deeper-sided oven-safe frying pan or Dutch oven on medium-high heat and add bacon fat or lard or olive oil.
Put flour in a pie plate or other wide flat bowl, then dip seasoned rabbit pieces into flour and shake off excess (reserve 2 T. of flour for later use but discard any remaining). Carefully place them in the hot bacon grease or oil in frying pan in a single layer. Working in batches if needed, evenly brown rabbit pieces on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side, then remove rabbit from pan and set aside.
Add diced onion to the same frying pan in remaining fat. Stirring occasionally, cook
onions until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining 2 T. flour to onions and stir until well-mixed. Cook onions/flour mixture for a minute or two, stirring very frequently. Add white wine and 1 c. of the chicken stock and stir with a whisk. Scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan and make sure flour is fully incorporated into the liquid, then add in the remaining 1-1/2 c. of chicken stock and the whole grain mustard. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then taste and adjust for seasoning with salt.
Return rabbit to the pan into the sauce. Add thyme and sage leaves. Cover pot with well-fitting lid and bake in 375 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, until meat is tender. At this time, prepare egg noodles or pasta to be ready for when the rabbit comes from the oven.
Take pan out of the oven, then remove the rabbit pieces from the pan and set aside to keep warm. Place frying pan over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Whisk in
crème fraiche or alternate ingredient, along with the dijon mustard and chopped capers and simmer for a few minutes until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Place rabbit pieces on a serving platter with an edge, then spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve over egg noodles or wide pasta.