Lapin Bourguignonne with Porcini Mushrooms
2 – 3 hours
Funny story. I have been travelling a bit for work and I always sit about and doodle in my plane seat. This always garters some kind of attention. Either people ignore me and hope they don’t end up my next drawing victim, or they start up a conversation.
On a recent flight from Detroit, I ran into this woman named Marla. She is a doctor who loves cooking, has family who teach, and whose mother was an artist. We started talking about education since that was the reason for my trip. We talked about travel and international trips we have taken, and artwork we have seen and made. She was an incredibly interesting person.
We started talking about my cookbook and I showed her the copy that I religiously carry with me everywhere these days! She loved looking through the pictures and was interested in all of the different cultures that we have explored. She was coming to Baltimore for a conference and didn’t know too much about the area so I recommended some restaurants and invited her for dinner.
See in America, people always say they are going to do things, it seems like some kind of polite thing you just do, but in Belarus, when you say you will do something, you do it. So I had Marla over for dinner.
I had planned to cook her a Duck, but realized that I already used the emergency duck I keep in my freezer (it has since then been replaced, emergency duck is there for emergencies!), instead, I decided to cook up a rabbit.
I love Boeuf Bourguignonne. It is an incredible rich and savory recipe. A while back, I decided that I could use rabbit instead, and it worked marvelously! It is now one of my mainstay fall/winter recipes. Instead of button mushrooms, I use Porcini mushrooms to pair an earthy flavor with the rabbit. It is a really wonderful combination. I use dried mushrooms and add the water I use to re-hydrate them into the stock, the flavor is amazing!
I like to serve this either with some pasta, rice, or potatoes and a side salad.
I highly recommend making this dish the day before and letting the flavors mature overnight in the fridge before reheating it.
In addition to the rice, the dish pairs beautifully with a simple French salad. We sliced up some tomato, cucumber, green onions, carrots, and radishes over a bed of lettuces and made a simple vinaigrette of lemons, oil, and vinegar. The crisp veggies and acidity in the dressing paired really well with the earthy richness of the bourgignonne!
- 1 rabbit, cut into parts (Great Video on Butchering a Rabbit!)
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) cognac or brandy
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup (115 g) bacon, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig laurel
- 1 bottle dry red wine from Burgundy
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 cups porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups mushroom broth, from re-hydrating dried porcini mushrooms
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil and butter in large Dutch oven. Brown rabbit until lightly colored. Add flour, stir.
- Deglaze with brandy or cognac.
- Add onions and garlic, cook 3 minutes.
Add bacon, 5 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure nothing burns.
Add tomato paste, stir. Add herbs, tie together with string.
- Cover rabbit completely with red wine and mushroom broth.
Boil. Add carrots, reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 2 hours.
- Separate liquid. Add half onions, carrot, bacon to liquid. Blend with immersion blender.
- Fry the mushrooms in butter for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the rabbit and remaining vegetables to the blended liquid. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- If possible, allow to rest overnight.
- Serve with rice, pasta, or potatoes.