The headline looks a bit long-winded to me. This is the last in my mini series so you will just have to put up with me being long-winded. We were in the Libourne market and I was suffering from a dose of ‘let’s get creative’. This is not a good condition for me. I was bereft of ideas and decided I needed to do something out of left field. That part of the park can often deliver good results. Hopefully I could translate that into French. With that in mind, I set out to ‘create’…
Amongst the stalls was a man selling prunes.
I got thinking. I then passed a van selling some lovely looking rabbit.
You can guess the rest.
The only issue with my decision to cook a Rabbit and Prune Stew was the weather. The afternoon wore on and the temperature touched a pretty warm 38º C (100º F). Still, I was on a roll and decided to cook on. A rustic stew needs a good quality rustic wine. Our gite host, David Furniss, suggested that I could try the wine from the vineyard outside our window. He then generously supplied a bottle of same. It would have been rude not to use it. Even ruder not to down a glass or two in the process. As it turned out, this wine was quite literally “Out of left field” and pretty tasty too.
The ingredients list for this stew is pretty short and really depends on the quality of that which went in.
- One loin of rabbit
- 200 grammes (1/3 lb) of pancetta
- Half a bottle of Domaine De La Bregue or similar nice French wine
- 250 grammes (1/2 lb) of delicious prunes
- 3 or 4 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 or four carrots
- 1 bouquet garni (rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf)
- 1/2 tablespoon of flour – that’s half not 1 or 2!
- Salt and pepper to season
- Olive oil
Slice the rabbit into nice big chunks.
Slice the pancetta into lardons.
Fry them in a little olive oil until they release most of their fat.
Remove the lardons and skin. Discard the skin. Add the rabbit and brown it on all sides.
Remove the rabbit. Roughly chop the onions. Add them to the pan and fry over a low heat until they are nice and soft. Sprinkle and stir in the flour.
Add back the rabbit and lardons. Chop the carrots as shown below and add them along with the prunes and the bouquet garni.
Then add the wine.
Season, stir and cover. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the temperature in the kitchen is as hot as it was in ours, be sure to drink plenty of water. If it’s cooler, enjoy a glass of wine.
I served it with white rice. We ate outside in the evening heat.
The red wine was cooled in the fridge. The stew was surprisingly delicious, given the evening temperatures. I can’t wait to replicate this during an Irish winter. If only I can get decent rabbit and great prunes….
That’s it for now on the French Retreat. Until next time, “bon vacances”, as they say over there.