Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lapin à la Moutarde. Yes, Rabbit.

Ouh la la! Classic French cooking from a classy Ukranian friend in Paris and her brilliant, fabulous, absolutely wonderful french husband THOMAS who is such a good cook... he kind of amazes me. and by "kind of" i mean in a big way. Really, wow. Thomas is just great. Masha is lucky to have him... not to mention he served us cookies after lunch! such a gentleman! I owe Owen a big kiss for introducing me to Masha, and therefore her breathtaking husband.

All jokes aside, this is one of the elite of Classic French Cooking. Thanks to Thomas's sister for the recipe, by way of the lovely couple!

1 (or 2) onions
*2 (or 3) carrots, chopped into thick pieces (you will not be sad to have a lot of carrots in the final product)
*1 (+) cup of white wine
- don't bother with expensive wine for cooking. Use the cheap stuff
*1 big, good rabbit, cut up by your friendly butcher, who you can ask to throw in a few more of your favorite pieces for a final count closer to one and a half rabbits. yum.
*mustard! try some varieties, tell me how they go!
*1/2 cup or so crème fraiche (I'd suggest sour cream or heavy whipping cream in the US)
*Fresh Herbs
-we used a bushel of Parsley
*salt and pepper

**As fancy a cast iron pot as you can find - or stainless steel soup pot - but if at all possible.... LE CREUSET DOUFEU!!!!****

1. Rub down the rabbit generously with mustard, let marinate
-do this a bit in advance, everything else will go quickly so there is no lag time

2. chop onion, sauté in olive oil (maybe some garlic? this may not be French... but I will definitely be trying it)

3. Brown all the pieces of the rabbit in the onion - a VERY important step for meats anytime you add to soups, stews, etc.

4. Add chopped carrots and white wine

5. cut the leaves off your fresh herbs, leaving the stems tied together; chop the leaves for flavor, and throw the bushel of stems in the pot for aroma (you will take this out when it is done cooking, so don't take off the tie!)

6. Cover for about 35 mintues on medium heat. Perhaps a lower heat for longer time would be good, but this worked perfectly!

T'inquiet pas! Don't worry, liquid will miraculously appear in the pot and not let it burn. or you can add a bit if you are scared.

Well, then again, this is assuming you have the crazy awesome secret of French cooking: Le Creuset.

This cast iron pot has a fancy shaped lid so that you can put ice on top and some circulation of liquids or something happens...

7. When it is about ready stir together a few more tablespoons of mustard and the fresh cream. Stir this in gently. Salt and Pepper to taste

8. Recover for a few more minutes (probably another 30 mintues - or dare I even say an hour? - on a super low heat MIGHT lead to a deeper flavor... but don't let me ruin your hard earned Lapin with my crazy ideas. I might be wrong).

9. Eat with rice, homemade pasta, or the classic French accompaniment: boiled potatoes

Thank you, Masha, for the wonderful afternoon of friends and food!

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