Wild rabbit in green sauce

Serves 4

Wild rabbits have such a good flavour but they rarely get used today, which is a great shame, because there are so many of them and they need to be culled.

Try to buy wild rabbits instead of the ones that are reared for the table, as they don't have an awful lot of flavour compared to the wild variety.

The back legs and shoulders from 4 wild rabbits
40g flour plus more for dusting
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
60g butter
100ml white wine
2tsp Dijon mustard
1 litres chicken stock, or a good quality chicken-stock cube dissolved in that amount of hot water
3tbsp double cream
A handful of parsley leaves
A handful of wild garlic leaves

Halve the rabbit legs at the joint and then lightly season and flour the legs and shoulders with a tablespoon of the flour. Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and lightly fry them for 2 minutes on each side without colouring them too much.

In a heavy-based saucepan, gently cook the shallots in the butter for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the rest of the flour and stir well. Gradually add the white wine, stirring well to avoid any lumps forming, then add the mustard and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, add the rabbit legs and lightly season.

Simmer gently, covered with a lid, for about an hour or so, or until the rabbit is tender. The sauce should be quite thick and of a coating consistency; if not, simply pour the sauce off into a separate pan and simmer it until it has thickened.

Put the parsley and wild garlic in a blender with a ladle of the rabbit sauce and blend until smooth; then stir back into the rabbit.

Bring back to the boil, add the double cream, and simmer for a few minutes and re-season if necessary.

Serve with mashed potato or maybe creamed polenta or a leafy vegetable such as spinach or greens.

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