Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lapin a la Creme

French food is so perfect for a chilly evening. It's often very substantial with lots of cream and butter. Well the traditional French cuisine is, not the 3 peeled baby carrots served with a raspberry coulis or somesuch of Nouvelle Cuisine fame. This lapin à la crème is from the annals of classic French cooking and it'll keep you warm, fortify you and stick to your ribs (thighs, butt, etc.).

1/2 cup "lardons" (unsmoked bacon or pancetta cut into 1 inch by 1/8 inch batons)
rabbit, cut into serving pieces, bone in
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tbsp flour
1 cup white wine
water to cover
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream (or as heavy as you heart/thighs will permit)

First put the lardons in a large pot over medium heat and allow then to get crunchy and all the fat to render. Remove lardons and leave fat. Place the rabbit pieces in one layer (you may have to do this in batches) raise the heat to high and brown on all sices. Remove rabbit pieces and leave fat. Now lower the back to medium and add the onions and carrots. Allow then to brown relatively slowly. Once they're brown add the flour and stir to create a roux (paste of fat and flour). Stir for 2 minutes to cook the flour then add the rabbit pieces and lardons back into the pot. Put in the bay leaf and add the wine. Cover just barely with water. bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat to a bare simmer. Allow to cook this way for 1-1/2 hours partially covered. If the broth is too thin after 90 minutes, boil at high heat to get the sauce to the thickness of tomato sauce for spaghetti. Add the cream, allow to simmer for about 5 minutes and serve over something starchy like fettuccine, rice or polenta. Serve with a frenchy flourish. Something to eat Lapin à la crème by: Dinner theater: "Picasso at the Lapin Agile"


Blogger Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Ya know, you really can't go wrong with rabbit, heavy cream and 1/2 cup of lardons. I may just haul a cottontail out of my freezer to try this one...

6:17 AM  
Blogger a.c.t. said...

Mmmm looks good, I love rabbit. I had it last year in Bergamo with polenta and it was delicious. It used to be more popular here in the UK, it's a shame you can't get in in the supermarkets anymore.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Proud Italian Cook said...

Susan, I have never had rabbit, I can't say honestly that it is something that I've wanted to try. I never grew up with it, but always wondered if it really tastes like chicken, does it?

12:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh yum--this looks wonderful. Thanks for reminding me about the spectacular combination of white wine and cream.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Hunter, How did I know you had a cottontail in your deep freeze?

Hi a.c.t., Holy Cow, you're back! How great! I so missed all the british English vocab lessons chez Into the Pot.

Hi Marie, Well, rabbit tastes very much like chicken but if you ever get a chance to eat hare, that's different, richer and more succulent.

Hi Christina, thanks!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Macadamia The Nut said...

I love love loveed reading though your blog... You have an avid sense of humor ;)

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man, that sounds so good. I've been craving rabbit lately, but I just can't cook it. They always look like they've been "offed" mid-leap. It just makes me too sad. I can deal with anything but rabbit. I'm such a sucker sometimes!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Macadamia, Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it! I tried to log onto your Carnivore site but it's by invitation only. can I get an invite?

Hi Ann, Mid-leap, ha! I realize that sounds funnier than it looks. here the rabbits come whole usually and so I often find myself making stock out of the head. That's one creepy sight, let me tell you. But I have the luxury of a husband who's happy to wield the cleaver at any kind of scary stuff otherwise I'd eat less rabbit.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Ulla said...

this is lovely! my mother would make our rabbits into a stew, but none like this!

10:13 PM  

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