The rabbit stew, a French delicacy recipe that Madame d'Aubery taught me
Source of the recipe
One of the first recipes that Madame d'Aubery taught me... A delicious dish that she used to cook perfectly !
She actually got the recipe from a chef working at a top restaurant in Lyon, France.
Not sure how she was able to get the recipe ( during those times, recipes from top restaurants were such a secret that it was considered a real miracle to get them ). As she was a restaurant owner, I guess she used some sort of mafia amongst the cooks to steal those recipes ?
If your Rabbit doesn't come cut, you will need to cut it yourself : This video shows you how to proceed:
1. Warm in a dutch oven the Olive Oil (½ Cup) and the Butter (2 Tablespoons or 30 g) and then brown the Rabbit (4 lbs 7 oz or 2 kg) until lightly colored
2. Brown on all sides, but do not fully cook the meat !
3. Add the Flour (2 tablespoons) and stir
4. Deglaze with the Cognac or Brandy (½ Cup)
5. Keep scraping the bottom of the dutch oven : this will release flavors and will avoid to burn the sauce
6. The juices that stick to the bottom ('sucs' in French) are one the secret for a super tasty sauce : You have to continuously scratch the bottom to release them into the sauce, otherwise they stay, stick, and burn
7. Add the diced Onions (2) and the diced Garlic Cloves (5) and stir
8. Add in the Bacon (½ Cup) and cook for 5 minutes
9. Keep scraping... that will make your sauce tastier
10. Add in the Tomato Paste (1 tablespoon) and stir
11. Add in the herbs : Thyme, Laurel (Bay) leaves and others...
12. Starts to smell delish in the house !
13. Time to pour in the Red Wine (4 ¼ Cups or 1 Liter) : lower the heat to low/medium. Make sure to cover the meat with the Red Wine, and if not fully covered with the liquid, pour in some Water
14. If you want to be super technical, you would follow Thomas Keller's advice (the Californian chef with 3 Michelin stars restaurants) : He recommends to boil and flambé the wine prior to using it. Madame d'Aubery was not doing it. Up to you !
15. Slice and add in the Carrots (3)
16. Lower the heat, reduce to a simmer
17. Make sure to cover
18. The stew must cook for 2 hours, on low heat
19. At some point, add the Salt (1 pinch) and the Pepper (1 pinch) (but not at the very beginning as the salt and pepper could become overpowering after evaporation)
20. You may bake in the oven as well
21. After it is fully cooked, use a sieve to filter the juice
22. To make the sauce, place into a blender and blend the juice, Half of the cooked carrots, Half of the cooked onions, and a few bacon strips
23. Madame d'Aubery didn't add in the Button Mushrooms (10) directly... She would sauté them first in a skillet with butter
24. Then she put everything together in the dutch oven : the mushrooms, the blended sauce and the meat with the vegetables
25. Madame d'Aubery had a secret : she would not eat this delicious recipe the same day : she would refrigerate the dish overnight before serving it to her guests the next days
26. I tested and compared the tastes, and indeed, the sauce texture is thicker and the taste of the stew is more developed when you wait for a full day...