Rabbit with Cider, Mustard and Prunes
1 rabbit, skinned and jointed (ask your butcher, and ensure that you keep the livers, heart and kidneys. The livers, mashed, will help thicken and richen the sauce and the heart and kidneys make for a delicious 'chef's treat, quicky fried in olive oil)
1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
3 rashers of un-smoked streaky bacon, chopped
1 carrot, cubed
1 onion, cubed
1 stick of celery, cubed
1 tbsp dried or fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
500ml good dry cider
A handful of dried prunes
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
100ml double cream
The rabbit livers, mashed with a fork
1 - Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C, GM3.
2 - In a flame-proof casserole dish, heat up the oil. Season the rabbit portions then quickly brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
3 - Add the bacon, carrots, onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes until softened and just beginning to colour. Stir in the thyme and bay leaves.
4 - Return the rabbit portions to the casserole dish then pour over the cider. Bring to the boil, cover, then place in the oven. Cook for 45-50 minutes.
5 - Remove the rabbit and keep aside. Pour the sauce through a sieve into a clean pan, pushing the vegetables through the sieve which will help thicken the sauce. Bring to the boil, then simmer whilst you remove the rabbit meat from the bones.
6 - Stir in the cream, mustard and mashed rabbit livers. Taste for seasoning. Return the rabbit meat to the sauce along with the prunes and heat through.
7 - Serve with mashed potato and seasonal greens such as sprouts or savoy cabbage.
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