This recipe is a family staple that I have wanted to feature for a long time. The delay was caused by the extreme difficulty that faced me trying to assemble the ingredients. A little bit of cream is no problem, even a little white wine can be found in Canada if you don’t mind going to a Government store to purchase the “criminal” nectar, the Dijon mustard is ready available almost anywhere. But, the lapin? Hordes of them have been taunting me on the University of Victoria campus and in my own backyard fighting for my best bushes with the deer. But, even expressing the thought of eating them would bring outrage. Can’t really risk a charge of cruelty to Bugs Bunny.
So here I am visiting my brother in Aix-en-Provence and my chance to buy a nice big specimen without further question or anyone raising an eyebrow. When I had gone to the Oak Bay Butcher Shop, a place that sees itself as a serious butcher, and asked for a rabbit, the two staff behind the counter had acted as if I was pulling an April’s fool prank on them sending me on my way with that arrogance often described as French in North America and absolutely no rabbit.
The rabbit is painted with a thick coat of Dijon Mustard and sprinkled with a tbsp of olive oil, browned on high for 10 minutes, turned over and browned on the other side for 10 minutes, then roasted another 25/30 minutes on medium/high. Then, deglaze the pan with a glass of white wine, pour into a pot. Place the rabbit back in the oven to keep warm. Make the sauce with the jus, 2 tbsps cream, 2 tbsps mustard and fresh thyme.
Another way to prepare this dish is to cut the rabbit first, brown the portion size pieces in olive oil in a Le Creuset dutch oven and to simmer with lots of Dijon Mustard, adding white wine, cream and thyme at the end.