Braised rabbit in Dijon and tarragon sauce

Braised rabbit in Dijon and tarragon sauce

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy

We use farmed rather than wild rabbit as it is more tender and has a better flavour. It is cooked in the same way as its wild counterpart, albeit for not as long. Wild rabbit can be soaked in cold salted water for 3 hours to whiten the flesh. You will need to start this the day before to allow time for the meat to marinate.


Quantity Ingredient
1 farmed rabbit, jointed into 6 pieces
small bunch tarragon sprigs
30g dijon mustard
50g unsalted butter
1 onion
85 g piece bacon
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon plain flour
600ml Chicken and veal stock
30-60ml creme fraiche
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Trim the rabbit joints if necessary. Chop enough tarragon leaves to give you 1 teaspoon and mix with all but 1 teaspoon of the mustard, spread over the rabbit joints, cover and refrigerate overnight. Save the rest of the tarragon sprigs.
  2. Heat the oven to 170°C. Heat the butter in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Scrape the mustard off the rabbit pieces, then brown them all over. Transfer all but the loin pieces to a casserole.
  3. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion, add to the frying pan with the bacon piece and cook over a gentle heat until the onion has softened. Peel and crush the garlic. Increase the heat to brown the onion, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour and cook for a further 1 minute.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the stock. Return to the heat, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then pour the sauce over the rabbit pieces in the casserole, adding a tarragon sprig.
  5. Cover and cook in the oven for 1–1½ hours, adding the loin after 30–45 minutes. The rabbit is cooked when it is tender and coming away from the bones easily.
  6. Trim any exposed bones from the rabbit and transfer to a warmed serving dish; keep warm. Discard the bacon and reduce the sauce over a medium heat to concentrate the flavour a little. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon mustard with crème fraîche to taste, and heat through gently. Adjust the seasoning, then pour the sauce over the rabbit, garnish with tarragon and serve with green beans.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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