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A Rabbit with Prunes Finale
A perfect bonus recipe for the fifth Wednesday in January 2020. As you know from our Juicy Post from February 2019, rabbit recipes are not welcome at Easter, but they are great for winter stews and fricassees. We got several requests for other savory dishes with prunes so I have unearthed another one of Mary Bond’s classic French recipes, Rabbit with Prunes. She taught me to make it with two rabbits, but I have halved the recipe. Locally I get really good rabbits from My Organic Butcher in McLean, but they are also available through stores that carry D’Artagnan products, or they can be ordered directly online from their website. Have your butcher cut the rabbit into 6-8 serving pieces or you can do it yourself by following the video below. It is not unlike cutting up a chicken. The photo on the right shows my favorite style of boning knife. It is about 6 inches in length and has a sharp point and stiff blade (which is very important, as that allows you to exert pressure to cut through a joint) The rib cage and other bony pieces can make a nice small stock for a soup or sauce. You can puree the liver with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar or verjus to enrich the sauce. This recipe reheats well, and can certainly be made in the morning or even the day before and just reheated before serving. If you have the Agen prunes, so much the better, as they are plump and juicy in the sauce. If the prunes you have are small, I would add a few more than the 4 ounces recommended in this dish.
- 1 rabbit cut into 6 serving pieces
- Enough olive oil to film your saute pan or casserole
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and cut into large dice
- 1 tbs flour
- 2 cups (473ml)beef stock
- 3/4 cup (178ml)dry white wine
- 1 tbs finely sliced shallots
- 1.1/2 tbs finely sliced garlic
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- Bouquet garni of several parsley stalks, bay leaf, thyme sprig tied together between two 2-3 inch pieces of celery.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper as needed
- 4 oz large prunes
- 8-10 peeled cipollinii onions or creamer onions
- Put the prunes in cold water to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Dry the rabbit pieces and then brown them on all sides in the preheated saute with the olive oil.
- Push the rabbit aside in the pan and add the diced onion, stirring them until they are lightly browned.
- Sprinkle both the diced onion and rabbit in the pan with the flour, salt and pepper, stirring or shaking so that both the onion and rabbit are browned with the flour.
- Add all the other ingredients, except the prunes and little onions and simmer for 30 -45 minutes with the pan 3/4 covered with a lid.
- Add the prunes and simmer for another 15-20 minutes- all should be tender.
- In the meantime cook the little onions in boiling salted water until tender.
- Drain the water, add a bit of olive oil or butter and a pinch of sugar and saute until they are golden
- Remove the rabbit, prunes, and mix in with the onions in a warm serving dish.
- Sieve the sauce, and if you need to thin it, add some of the water that the prunes were soaking in.
- If you need to thicken it, make a beurre manie (equal part soft butter and flour mixed togther) and add it to the sauce, stirring it until it becomes the consistency you want.
- Pour the sauce over the rabbit, prunes and onions, and garnish with chopped parsley.
- I sometimes just leave the sauce unsieved and serve it from the pan.
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.