Rabbits and Rabbit and Dumpling Stew


Rabbit and dumplings

Rabbit and dumplings

Our stop at Monte Casino with Pam, Carson and the kids saw us leave with 10 rabbits. Carson shot them for us while we were in the UK and Switzerland. We stored our freezer-full of fish in their house for the 10 weeks we were away, and they took a few meals out and put the bunnies back in. It’s a good relationship!

Ten rabbits make me feel rich (like new undies or a full tank of petrol does), so I want to use them well.

Tonight  I turned two of my stash into Rabbit Carbonnade with Parsley Dumplings. Carbonnade is a beef and beer dish often topped with French bread (or baguette) spread with mustard, that’s then pushed under the surface of the stew. The mustard croutons eventually rise and crisp up. I love it. I didn’t have French bread (or baguette) so I decided dumplings would be a good substitute . I added the mustard (and  brown sugar) to the stew. I was forced to use light beer, as once again, that’s what we had on hand! The original also had 10 rashers of bacon in it-I couldn’t justify that, so I modified the whole thing to make it my own.

Rabbit Carbonnade with Parsley Dumplings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 kg rabbit, jointed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 bacon rashers, chopped
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 375 ml beer
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh sprigs if you have it)
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (for serving)

Dumplings

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • ¼ cup (20 g) coarsely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (extra)
  • ¼ cup milkRabbit and dumplings2

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 c
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook rabbit in batches for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Melt butter in dish. Add bacon and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until onion is softened. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Sprinkle over flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly add beer, stirring constantly. Return rabbit and any juices to dish with stock, mustard, brown sugar, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cover then place in preheated oven for 1-1.5 hours or until tender-all this depends on the age and size of your rabbit so you be the judge.
  4. Meanwhile, make the parsley dumplings.
  5. When the rabbit is tender, remove dish from oven.  Remove and discard bay leaves. Drop level tablespoons of dumpling mixture, about 2 cm apart, onto top of stew. Cook, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until dumplings are browned lightly and cooked through.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley to serve

Parsley Dumplings

  1. Place flour in medium bowl; rub in butter.
  2. Stir in egg, cheese, extra parsley, and enough milk to make a soft, sticky dough.
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