I had a lonely rabbit in the fridge, in need of some TLC. I looked at some traditional French Lapin a la Moutarde recipes and wondered if a sprinkle of Coleman’s Mustard Powder might cheer up the bunny, without him needing several more hours in the fridge with a Dijon poultice. I’m delighted to say that Mr. Coleman worked wonders, forcing me to repeat the recipe a week later in order to photograph it.
Lapin a la Moutarde recipe (serves 3 people):
1 wild rabbit (jointed)
3 slices smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
6 pieces garlic (finely chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 stick of celery (chopped)
6 medium mushrooms (chopped)
2 bay leaves
4 sage leaves (torn)
a teaspoon of Coleman’s Mustard Powder
a heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
a few of sprigs of thyme
6 juniper berries (crushed)
1 teaspoon plain flour
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 pint game stock
white wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
First and foremost, the Coleman isn’t intended to replace Dijon mustard completely, it’s merely a method of getting the mustard flavour into the rabbit quickly, instead of having a lengthy marination process …and it works wonders!
Allow the rabbit to come to room temperature and cut it up into about 7 or 8 pieces (remove the rib cage from the back bone and use it for stock). Dust the meat with a teaspoon of mustard powder and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, just before frying.
Brown the rabbit in batches, using a mixture of goose fat and olive oil in a cast iron casserole. When the meat has taken a little colour, remove to a plate.
Caramelise a large onion in the same casserole and oil. When the onion is suitably golden, fry the chopped streaky bacon with it.
When the bacon is slightly crispy, mix in the carrot, celery and garlic.
The chopped mushrooms go in next, along with juniper, sage and flour.
Stir in a good splash of white wine vinegar and 1/2 pint of game (or chicken) stock. The bay leaves, thyme and a heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard can go in now too. Let this bubble away for a few minutes and taste – the Dijon mustard is far more mellow than the Coleman’s. At this point, adjust the seasoning to taste – add more mustard and vinegar as you see fit.
Return the rabbit to the casserole, make sure it is simmering before putting the lid on and removing to a preheated oven at 150ºC. Cook for 90 – 120 minutes (or until the rabbit is tender) stirring every 45 minutes or so. This rabbit was quite large, but started to feel tender to the fork after about an hour, whereas the previous one needed longer in the oven.
When the rabbit is done, stir in the blood to thicken the sauce. If there’s no blood available (or you don’t fancy it), use am additional teaspoon of flour before adding the stock. Check the seasoning again and cook with the lid off for a final 20 minutes.
Serve with mashed potato and Brussels sprouts – a nice glass of Château de Mercey Bourgogne will compliment the flavour of Dijon mustard.