The French love to use rabbit in dishes; since I love French cooking, this dish is one I have had on my list to make for a while now. Rabbit can be difficult to find in stores, but I recently found some at the local market and quickly snapped it up. The shocked look on the face of the checkout clerk was priceless! I highly recommend giving this a try, rabbit is delicious! Trust me!
The title of this post, Lapin a La Cocotte, is literally translated as The Rabbit Casserole. It’s a simmered stew of rabbit meat in red wine and stock that makes the rabbit so tender and succulent. The stewing juices form a perfectly delightful sauce (or gravy, as you may). It may sound fancy but, I assure you, this is a very simple dish. It’s like a deconstructed stew, or soup.
While the recipe I used suggested it be served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, I chose instead to make some beautiful baby potatoes in parsley butter. Smashed with our forks on the plate and dabbed in the sauce, I’d only wished I’d made more than I had!
I’ve often said I don’t really follow recipes completely, and this is no exception, but I adapted the recipe I found at Food.com.
Try this! I suppose, if you’re squeamish about rabbit, you could do this with chicken…but you’ll be missing out on rich, robust, rabbit!
- 3 pounds rabbit, quartered
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat *
- 1½ cups sliced onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- In a medium-sized Dutch oven or heavy flat-bottomed roasting pan, melt the bacon fat.
- Add the onions and garlic.
- Cook until translucent; remove from the pan.**
- Add the rabbit pieces and sauté over medium heat until rabbit is golden brown on each side.
- Sprinkle on the flour and continue to brown rabbit for another 5 minutes or so, then add the onions and garlic back in the pan along with the chicken stock, red wine, thyme, parsley and bay leaves.
- With a wooden spoon, stir the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits on the bottom.
- Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour, adding more stock if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste.
**I am suggesting removing the onions and garlic from the pan because I thought they got a bit too browned when I browned the rabbit. Also, they got in the way! I'll be doing this step the next time.