It’s such a hoot to be back in France! When I bought this bunny rabbit at Maison Trotoux, he asked me 3 times if I wanted the head cut off and included in the package. I told him 3 times, with graphic gestures, to cut off the head and throw it in the garbage or whatever.
I must have blinked or something because when I arrived home, there was the head along with the saddle, legs and other edible parts! I guess I will never convince these French butchers that I don’t want the head, so in the future I’ll just take it, cook it or toss it as I see fit. In this case, I cooked it. M. Parret wanted it 😀
Maison Trotoux provides good quality viandes and the rabbit cooked up beautifully, head and all.
While rabbit wasn’t the first thing I ate when I arrived (gillardeau oysters, strawberry melba, calf’s liver, ris de veau), it was the first thing I cooked, and with fresh ingredients from the farmers’market, I enjoyed every minute. The rich sauce of lardons, shallots, shitake mushrooms, mustard, white wine, thyme and chicken broth was a fantastic welcome back to the kind of cooking I like!
I adore the woman who is recently installed next to Jean Louis of the magret de canard. She has gorgeous mushrooms, herbs, and aromatics. I wanted girolles mushrooms but she didn’t have any on this day. The shitake were fine.
To be absolutely honest, I’m not exactly sure how I cooked the rabbit because it’s been a while with my computer problems, finding a replacement USB cord for my camera and getting the house back in shape. However, the following recipe is probably close. I served it with lightly sauteed courgette ribbons and tagliatelle pasta.
Rabbit with Lardons, Mustard and Mushrooms
1 rabbit, cut up
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup lardons
1 generous knob of butter
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, brown in a skillet in the olive oil, then place in a casserole or tajine with cover and set aside.
In a clean skillet, brown the lardons, add the butter, then the shallots and garlic. Saute until the shallots are soft, then add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms start to release their water. Add the wine and boil vigorously for about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper until smooth.
Pour the sauce into the casserole with the rabbit and gently stir. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for about 45 minutes.