Rabbits need long and slow cooking, especially the wild ones. I wanted some sort of rich and robust stew, but also I wanted flavours suited especially to rabbit; sometimes stew can be a bit generic.
This is a really rich dish - I cooked the usual pasta for two but we were properly stuffed afterwards, so I'd suggest a smaller portion (shock horror). Due to the long cooking times, the overnight rest and the resultant rich stock, this was one seriously tasty pasta sauce; especially given the relatively simple ingredients.
Rabbit in a Cream & Mustard SauceServes 3
3 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 sticks of celery, chopped roughly
1/2 a pint of white wine
1/2 a pint of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
A handful of peppercorns
250gr noodles (dry weight), like fettucine
100ml double cream
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Large handful of flat-leaf parsley
In a large saucepan, sweat the onion, garlic, carrot and celery for 20 mins. Dust the rabbit portions in seasoned flour and brown in a non-stick frying pan. Add to the carrot mixture, then add the bay leaves and peppercorns. Add the stock, white wine and a tsp of salt, then bring to a boil. Turn it down to a gentle simmer and cook for a good 3 or 4 hours. Check that it isn't dry - add more chicken stock if it is.
Leave to cool (I left it overnight) and take the rabbit pieces out and take the meat off the bones. Set to one side. Reheat the sauce so that it loosens up a bit, then in a fine sieve, sieve the vegetables off. You should get a rich stock coming through the sieve. Smoosh (yes, technical term) the mixture with a wooden spoon until you're sure you got all the goodness out of it, then discard the vegetable pulp. Add the meat back in and warm gently. Add the double cream and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until thickened slightly. Slop in the mustard, serve well, and toss with pasta, garnishing with a LOT of chopped parsley and served with a wedge of lemon. Don't forget the black pepper.