A more traditional version of this classic dish than my roasted version, and good for serving in winter, when choice of vegetables is more limited.
1 rabbit, jointed into 8 (or a selection of rabbit joints, e.g. saddles, leg)
100 g bacon, cut into dice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 leek, white part only, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 tbsp flour
300 ml cider*
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
100 ml cream
2 tbsp groundnut oil
salt and pepper
thyme (dried or fresh)
* you can also use white wine or Noilly Prat, but I prefer cider.
Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and brown the rabbit pieces on all sides. Remove to a casserole with a lid. Add the bacon, celery, onion, leek, and carrots to the pan, and let them cook gently for 5 minutes or so, without browning. Then sprinkle in the flour, stir in, and allow to cook for 1 minute before adding the cider or wine. Bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan, till the sauce thickens. Pour the contents of the pan over the rabbit in the casserole, add the herbs, cover, and simmer (either on top of the stove or in the oven) for about an hour.
When the rabbit is cooked, add the mustard and cream, stir in thoroughly and simmer gently for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with buttered noodles.