Please Help Me with a Rabbit Dish

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Back in the spring of 2004, I took my Mother to Manhattan for the first time.   She had wanted to dine at Balthazar, along with other “famous” restaurants.   We no sooner took our seats, not waiting for the wait staff to enough utter a word; she orders “a very martini and a steak frites, please”.   I have never seen my Mother drink a single drop of alcohol in my lifetime!!

But I digress.   The special for the day was a rabbit dish, I ADORE RABBIT.   Very seldom do you see it on menus and I had to have it.   My mouth was watering as the plate was presented, but you know I can not remember how it was prepared.

Maybe someone at Cheftalk.com can help me out and suggest a recipe.   I recently have found an honest-to-goodness butcher here in town and he carries game.    I waited a bit to think about this again, out of courtesy to the Easter Bunny.
 
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Was it rillettes of rabbit with marinated mushrooms?

I've been googling and that was the only rabbit dish I could find in connection with Balthazar.
 
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You know, that's not it, but I never thought to "google" a recipe at Balthazar.  It was more like a stew or fricassee, but it was a rich brown sauce with veggies.  You Granny Smith, I was so excited at the time.
 
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For some reason, this has been bugging me, trying to find this rabbit recipe. 

It struck me last night as I was falling asleep, I made a scrapebook of that trip for my Mother.  Guess what I had put in it?  Copies of the menus from each restaurant we had been to!!

Lapin Aux Pruneaux

I looked up the recipe, but there is no way that my husband will eat that, he doesn't care for prunes.

Could someone make a suggestion for a nice rich brown sauce-based rabbit recipe?

Please?
 
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Kaneo, the dish is very much Belgian origin. It was often made at festive days, even at the time my grandmothers still lived 50+ years ago. I make it a few times a year. Rabbit is widely available in my country, not wild ones, they are bred. The recipe looks very much like our worldfamous carbonades flamandes which is also a stew made with beer.

Lapin aux pruneaux is made with dried prunes and dark beer. A type dark "Leffe" beer is very much OK. I often use Californian dried prunes.

Start by cutting the rabbit in pieces. Do keep the liver and kidneys, they are delicious!

Sweat onion or shallot and a few cloves of garlic. Take out of the pan.

Sear the rabbit pieces in butter/oil (I do mine in sunflower only) until nicely browned. Add onions etc again and sprinkle with 1-2 not to full tbsp of plain flour, this will thicken the sauce. Stir and let cook for a while until all is covered with flour and gets a little sticky. Now add the beer until covered 3/4. Add some veal fond or simply a little water to barely cover. Peel some carrots and cut in 1 inch long chunks. Cut them in half lenghtwise so they are all more or less equal. Add to the pot. Also add 1 tbsp of Dijon style mustard. Add a good sprig of fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, s&p. Add 2 handfulls of dried prunes 30 minutes later on in the simmering. All this has to simmer now for at least 90 minutes or until the meat just doesn't fall from the bones.

Mostly served with a humble boiled potato and apple sauce or as I do with caramelized apples.

Enjoy! BTW, do a picture search on Google using this; "konijn met pruimen" (that's the original name of the dish)
 
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Thank you very much ChrisBelgium (my Mother is going to be there next week for the tulips!)

I think that I will try this recipe, but just remove the prunes before my husband sees them, he'll never know.

By chance, would you have another rabbit recipe?
 
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Nice recipe, going to try it. Thanks

If you have a cast iron casserole dish you could leave this thing in the oven for 3 hours at 120°C after an initial 30 mins simering on the hob. The meat will maintain texture but be unbelievably tender and same for the veg.

You can make a pretty similar dish with a porc roast gorgeous with dried prunes.
 
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I believe you are talking about a dish called ""Brunswick Stew'' which is a classic . Could be served with dumplings.  Germany makes a dish called Hausenphefer ( ( excuse my spelling of this one))
 
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Mahalo, Chefedb, the brunswick stew sounds like that will be a winner at our house, the hasenfeffer, I'll have to research somem more online. 

I think BugsBunny kinda' put Americans off of eating hare or rabbit, but I think it is fantastic!!

If anyone has more suggestions on recipes using rabbit, please keep them coming...
 
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You need to look around in Spain, they do like "conejo" over there!

Do a Google search on "conejo recetas" and you will see.
 
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Thanks ChrisBelgium, so I google (I don't understand Spanish) conejo, that's rabbit and recetas is stew, right?

What I found are tomato based sauces, sounds great.

Please, everyone out there, keep those rabbit recipes coming?!
 
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Definitely! I love rabbit.

I normally make it with mustard and white wine.

I've eaten it since childhood (grew up slightly north from ChrisBelgium, but with lots of the similar eating habits). It was quite a special dish for us though, although I do remember rushing out to check on my pet rabbit the first time my dad told me we were eating rabbit........
 
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OK, I did not know that, thanks Butzy.

So then rabbit isn't a dish that is on the table like any weeknight supper then?

Myself, I did not grow up eating rabbit and have eaten it only a handful of times

but I just love it!

Mustard and wine you say? Is it braised, baked, and for how long?
 
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I cook rabbit - but won't eat it.

My husband and family adore it - so I roast it, I braise it, I fricasee it.

I still won't eat it!
 
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I can respect that, Ishbel. 

My best girlfriend WILL NOT eat crab in anyway (she’s a Cancer and thinks that she is eating herself…). 

My sister won’t eat any organ meats.  I truly cannot swallow escargot! 
 
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There are very few things I WON'T eat, as opposed to things I've tried and don't like (eg durian fruit, sweetbreads and kidneys) but I have never been able to eat Peter Rabbit.  I haven't eaten veal since I was 14 years old (I use thin cuts of pork in place of veal, where appropriate) - ever since I read about how veal calves were raised (at that time, I know it has changed here in the UK and other parts of the world nowadays).
 
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There are very few things I WON'T eat, as opposed to things I've tried and don't like (eg durian fruit, sweetbreads and kidneys) but I have never been able to eat Peter Rabbit.  I haven't eaten veal since I was 14 years old (I use thin cuts of pork in place of veal, where appropriate) - ever since I read about how veal calves were raised (at that time, I know it has changed here in the UK and other parts of the world nowadays).

Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton Tale in a red wine and mushroom sauce... come to papa /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
 
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That's the trouble with you Cornish - no concern about the literary aspects of cookery!
 

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