I am sick of chicken and pork. Totally tired of turkey meatballs and the pasta with endless varieties of meat and nonmeat sauces. Creamed and tomato alike. This weekend was the day(s) that was going to end! I found a recipe that I just had to try, to be more specific, an ingredient: rabbit. I got this french cuisine cookbook maybe a year ago, and I thought I’d master every recipe in it, including all those odd rabbit, eel, and veal ones, however, I haven’t opened since it first arrived in an amazon package.
I have to say, in Los Angeles it isn’t as hard as I thought to get rabbit. Although it was more expensive than in Europe. Mainly, that’s because in America we don’t really hunt it, and certainly not in Los Angeles. I’m sure if I lived in the Midwest or even in the South, or hell, even in Fresno, I’d be able to get rabbit for a lot cheaper than what Gelson’s was offering to sell me.
I did get lucky with a local butcher. And honestly, nothing is better than local. Seriously folks, I felt amazing just knowing that I was supporting someone that had great produce, great service, and a reasonable price! Well, as reasonable as it could get.
And so I set forth to make this fancy (in my eyes) “stew”. I put that into quotations because my notions of what a stew was, were tested. I thought of stew as a thick soup, usually overly hearty, and filling. This was delicious, and filling, but certainly not hearty, and not thick. It was essentially Rabbit that was browned in butter and garlic, and then braised in a cup of white wine, with some flour added in to make a slightly thickened sauce for the finished product to cover the meat in.
French Rabbit Stew with Mushrooms and Pancetta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 oz thick cut pancetta, cut in cubes
- 5 pearl onions, or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 1/2 lb rabbit (I used a 2.8 lb rabbit) cut into serving pieces or dissected at butchers
- 1 tbso all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bouquet garni made with parsley, thyme, and bay leaf (fresh)
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 lb white mushrooms, halved (I roughly chopped mine, and used brown)
In a flameproof casserole, or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and onions and cook until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta and onions to a bowl.
Add the rabbit pieces and cook until nicely browned on all sides (I had to do this in two shifts). Stir in the flour and cook until lightly browned. Return the pancetta and onions to the pot. Add the wine, garlic, and bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the rabbit and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the bouquet garni. Transfer the rabbit and sauce to a warmed serving dish and serve.
Serve with Buttery Endives with Pancetta (below)
Endives in Butter with Pancetta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 lbs endives ( I only used two endives, about .6 lb, and trust me, it was not enough, when cooked down, even for two)
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 lb thickly sliced pancetta, cubed
- 3 1/2 ounces dry-cured ham (optional)
In a flameproof casserole, or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the endives and cooking until lightly brown all over. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons water. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the pancetta and ham, if using, and cook for 20 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving dish.
**Special Thanks to Boyfriend, who was patient and caring enough to take the photos for me this time, while was dashing to and fro in the kitchen trying to time the two recipes together. Thanks!**