Why is it that I rarely remember to put on lipstick for business meetings, but I gloss up for the butcher? Maybe that’s because the butcher is Harvey Gussman, who supplies dry-aged beef to some of LA’s best restaurants. This past week, I called Harvey to place an order for two rabbits, hacked up into eight pieces each, as we were having a bunch of my husband’s friends to dinner. The following morning, I rang the bell in the alley to collect my wabbits.
Harvey had them boxed up and ready to go. This girl has always loved good packaging.
Back at home, I broke out a recipe for Melissa Clark’s Mustardy Braised Rabbit With Carrots, which ran in the New York Times a couple years ago and has been recommended to me by several friends, including she of exquisite taste, author Mary L. Tabor. It starts with a simple herb sachet of rosemary, thyme and cloves.
Really, what takes the most effort is browning the meat to add that extra layer of flavor, and because I was doing two bunnies, this represented the lion’s share of the work.
From there you sauté your leeks, sage and carrots in the same pot in which you browned the rabbit.
Then you simmer in white wine and chicken broth, and put into the oven to braise for about two hours, or until the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender. Though rabbit is a very lean meat, braising gives a perceived decadence to this dish, which is actually very healthy even if it doesn’t taste it.
I spooned the mustardy sauce over the rabbit and served with buttered egg noodles. As well as injudicious amounts of lush Goldeneye Pinot Noir.