Sunday, June 9, 2013

Braised Rabbit with Mustard and Fennel

Good morning bloggers and friends! Today's dinner has me feeling a little guilty. We've never made rabbit anything here on Everyday Meals. The reason? I feel bad for eating Thumper. It's hard for me to eat anything that I may consider taking as a pet, but for others, rabbit is just another meat choice. Today, I'm going to do my best to put my feelings aside so we can have a delicious dinner.

As a bonus, since I feel so guilty, I'm going to include a dessert recipe. I'm sure once dessert rolls around, I'll feel less inclined to sob over eating that poor, yummy rabbit. Today's recipes are braised rabbit and vanilla bean cream pie. Sounds delicious, right? Like always, let's grab our cooking utensils and I'll meet you in the kitchen!

Braised Rabbit with Mustard and Fennel
Yields 4 servings

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • One (3-pound) rabbit, cut into 2 whole legs, 2 front quarters and 1 whole loin all on the bone
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups rabbit or chicken stock
  • Soft polenta, for serving

  1. In a bowl, blend the Dijon mustard and mustard seeds. 
  2. Season the rabbit parts with salt and pepper. 
  3. Spread the mustard all over the rabbit pieces. 
  4. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or over night.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  6. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. 
  7. Add the rabbit pieces and cook over moderate heat until richly browned, about 2 minutes per side, then turn the pieces carefully to keep as much mustard crust on the rabbit as possible. 
  8. Transfer the rabbit to a plate.
  9. Add the onion, fennel, thyme, rosemary and sage to the skillet. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. 
  10. Add the wine and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 
  11. Add the stock and bring to a boil. 
  12. Nestle the rabbit pieces in the vegetables.
  13. Cover the skillet and braise the rabbit in the upper third of the oven for about 50 minutes, until tender. 
  14. Uncover and braise for 10 minutes longer, until the rabbit pieces are glazed.
  15. Transfer the rabbit to a plate. 
  16. Discard the herbs. 
  17. Boil the sauce over high heat until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, about 5 minutes. 
  18. Season with salt and pepper and return the rabbit pieces to the sauce to heat through. 
  19. Serve in shallow bowls over polenta.

Ready for dessert?

Vanilla Bean Cream Pie

You will need:

  • 9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1.25 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch, then set aside.
  2. On low to medium heat in a medium-sized sauce pan, add 4 tablespoons of butter, heavy cream, and milk.  
  3. After the butter has melted, slowly add the cornstarch and sugar mixture. 
  4. Cook, stirring constantly with a wire whisk just until the mixture is thick and creamy, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Immediately pour the mixture into the pie crust and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. 
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  8. Place the pie under the broiler until the butter bubbles. Watch your pie carefully; this will not take long.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  10. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy the rest of you weekend. I'll be back tomorrow with another recipe. Until then, happy blogging to all, and I'll catch you all on the flip side!