Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rabbit in Red Wine Sauce (Lapin au Vin Rouge)

Guest post  by S.J. Perry
The Arrogant Chef

One of my all-time favourite foods is rabbit. When I was young, I remember coming home from school in the winter and seeing a number of dead rabbits at the entrance to our house. Normally this would have been a terrible sight except that I knew that my father would soon turn this into a culinary delight.

This is somewhat of a French-Canadian take on rabbit. Of course back then it was always wild rabbit but today farmed rabbit is available in many specialty markets.

Farmed rabbit has an excellent mild flavour, very similar to chicken some say, but I believe it has a taste all of its own. Once people get over the fact that they are eating rabbit most would agree that it is far superior to chicken, in both taste and texture. The following recipe is a combination of my father's with a few ingredients from other recipes that I have tasted. I guarantee you will love it. (Just forget it is rabbit.)

Lapin au Vin Rouge (Rabbit in Red Wine)

2 1/2 pound rabbit, cut into pieces.
100 grams black olives, stoned
2 medium sized onions
2 large cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
9 fl ounces of red wine
1 tin (14 ounces) of peeled tomatoes
4 Tablespoons of oil
60 grams (2 ounces) butter
250 grams mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoons of sugar
salt and pepper

Peel and finely slice the onions. Crush the cloves of garlic, unpeeled. Puree the tomatoes and season generously with the sugar.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add half the butter and brown the rabbit, onions, garlic, and olives over very low heat. Then increase the heat and add the wine. Turn the rabbit pieces all the time until the wine has completely evaporated. Pour in the tomato puree, add the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 1 hour over a low heat.

While the rabbit cooks wash and wipe the mushrooms and cut them into thin strips. Put the remaining butter in the frying pan and sauté the mushrooms until golden brown and then season with salt and pepper and transfer them into the sauté pan together with their cooking fat.

After 1 hour check whether the rabbit is cooked. It should be tender and the meat should easily come off the bone. Then reduce the sauce, until desired thickness.

Pour the contents of the sauté pan into a dish and serve at once.