January 4, 2008

Le Lapin - An Impulse Buy

I picked up a rabbit yesterday for an excellent price, having no idea what I should make with it.
There is still some trepidation regarding the cooking of rabbits in my kitchen. You know...they're just so cute...it makes me feel like a monster for wanting to eat one.
Ducks are cute too, but I have absolutely no qualms about tucking in to a magret or confit de canard. Weird, isn't it?

I know it's a cultural thing, but I just haven't gotten over the fact that when I was growing up I raised bunnies as pets. Eating one was a horrifying thought! But I'm slowly learning to suppress these feelings.

We've only tried rabbit a few times and I've only cooked it once, last year when I made Hasenpfeffer.
Tomorrow I plan on making a bit pot of rabbit something and need some good rabbit recipes.

I think I've narrowed it down to a couple:

a traditional, French Lapin à la Moutarde
a good ol' Louisiana specialty, Rabbit Gumbo

However, if you have any ideas or a favorite recipe for lapin that you would like to send my way, I would love some new ideas! Pin It


Marylène said...

Voici une recette typique de chez moi empruntée au site de frederic bayart :
la tradition populaire dit que le général de Gaulle, chaque fois que ses déplacements le conduisait dans le Nord de la France, allait manger ce plat chez l'habitant.

Lapin aux pruneaux (de Flandres-Artois-Picardie)

Préparation: 30 minutes
Marinade: 12 heures
Cuisson: 1 heure environ

Ingrédients (pour 6 à 8 personnes): - 1 lapin coupé en morceaux avec le foie - 75cl de vin rouge - 10cl de vinaigre de vin rouge - 1 bouquet garni - poivre en grains - 3 cuillerées à soupe d'huile de tournesol - 24 pruneaux - 200g de lardons maigres demi-sel - 3 oignons - 50g de beurre - 2 cuillerées à soupe de gelée de groseille - sel et poivre au moulin

1- Mettre le foie du lapin dans un bol, le couvrir avec un peu de vin et le mettre au réfrigérateur à couvert. Par ailleurs, mettre les morceaux de lapin dans un saladier et verser 50cl de vin et le vinaigre par-dessus, ajouter le bouquet garni et 1 cuillerée à soupe de poivre en grains concassé, ainsi qu'un filet d'huile sur le dessus. Laisser mariner au frais en retournant les morceaux de temps en temps dans la marinade.
2- Pendant ce temps, mettre les pruneaux dans une jatte, verser le reste du vin par-dessus et les laisser tremper. Faire par ailleurs blanchir les lardons dan une casserole d'eau portée à ébullition, les égoutter et les éponger. Peler les oignons et les émincer, égoutter le pruneaux et les dénoyauter.
3- Faire chauffer 30g de beurre dans une cocotte, ajouter les morceaux de lapin et les faire venir en les retournant plusieurs fois. Les retirer et les égoutter; ajouter le reste de beurre et les oignons. Les faire dorer en les remuant, puis remettre les morceaux de lapin, ajouter les pruneaux et mélanger. Retirer du feu.
4- Filtrer la marinade, la verser dans une casserole et la faire réduire sur feu vif pendant 10 minutes. Remettre la cocotte sur le feu, y verser la marinade, mélanger délicatement, saler et poivrer. Couvrir et faire cuire tranquillement de 45 minutes à 1 heure. Une dizaine de minutes avant la fin, ajouter le foie et le vin dans lequel il a mariné. Saler et poivrer à nouveau.
5- Egoutter les morceaux de lapin et les pruneaux, les mettre dans un plat creux, avec le foie coupé en portions au milieu. Verser la gelée de groseilles dans la sauce et mélanger sur feu vif pour la faire fondre. Verser cette sauce sur les morceaux de lapin avec les lardons et les oignons. Servir aussitôt.
Bon appétit.

Marco said...

Here is a link to my favorite recipe:


It requires 2dL of both white and red wine... which is a great excuse to open two bottles for a single meal :-)

Jacqui U said...

Rabbit makes the most incredibly flavoured stock - and the simpler the recipe, the better really. I found a recipe for Lapin Fricasee in a French cook book and have never managed to better it all these years. And it is so simple.

1. Joint the rabbit and fry/colour it a bit in butter in a casserole pot. Remove from the pot.

2. Fry a chopped onion in the same butter until soft. Although if you are in a rush, onion is not necessary - the original recipe did not have any!

3. Fry some mushrooms in the same butter with the onion if using.

4. Add the rabbit back in, with about 100ml white wine and 150ml of chicken or vegetable stock. Again, if in a rush, water alone will do.

5. Slow cook (for a few hours if wished), or gently simmer for about 40 minutes.

6. Because the children find it fiddly to eat rabbit on the bone, I now take it out of the pot and take the meat off the bone. This is not necessary though!

7. Reduce the liquid in the pot a bit - and then add 150ml of cream and two egg yolks. Add back the rabbit meat.

8. VERY gently cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

9. Serve with plain rice.

Delicious and so easy! A favourite with everyone!

I sometimes add carrots, leeks or other vegetables (as an alternative to the mushrooms) to make this into a general casserole - a great way to get the kids to eat their veg!


La Belette Rouge said...

I am also one of those Americans who refuse to eat cute animals. All the fur and the cotton tail and the wiggly nose. i just can't do it.

I know it is philosophically unsound and yet that is who I am. Snails are ugly and I feel no guilt when eating them.

That said, I truly hope you enjoy your rabbit. :-)

Loulou said...

Marylène, Marco and Jacqui,

These three recipes all look amazing! I really appreciate the help. I'll let you know which one I end up using.

Merci beaucoup!

Loulou said...

la belette rouge,

We felt exactly that way when we moved and swore we would never eat rabbit until our good friends served it to us at their home. We looked at each other, shrugged and decided "when in France..." :)
I'm still a bit wary, but am trying to get over it.
Do you like duck?

Betty C. said...

I was going to suggest lapin aux pruneaux, but I see someone else suggested it.

I never had any problem with eating rabbit, but now we own one as a pet, so my kids don't want to eat any anymore!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

I don't like rabbit very much, especially after seeing them skinned in the market in France.

Have you ever done the unthinkable (for an American) and eaten horse in France??? I always stared at it in the meat dept. trying to wrap my mind around it...so sad....I never did buy any. None of my French friends ever tried it either, or say they told me.

Loulou said...

My mom sent me an email saying how shocked she was that we were eating rabbit, and named a couple of the bunny pets I had growing up! I can see how the kids might not want to eat it anymore.

I'm making Lapin aux Pruneaux next time. I love pruneaux!

Loulou said...

Good question.


My husband owned race horses in America and I just can't imagine it, so the answer is no, we haven't eaten horse meat. And we never intend to. I don't know anyone who eats it, yet there is a boucherie chevalier in the big town down the road that seems to do business.

Peter M said...

Rabbit makes a wonderful stew and us Greeks make a Rabbit Stifado...marinated in wine, stewed with onions, bay leaves, cloves, allspice, peppercorns...great mopping up food.

Loulou said...

That is the best kind of dish! Have you posted that recipe on your site? If so, I'd be really happy to try it.

Thanks for stopping by!