Cassoulet de Lapin aux Feves


I came back from my shopping trip all “Frenchified”, ready to make something simple, fresh and delicious.   Rabbit sounded good to me and I also had fava beans.  Fava bean preparation is a little more fiddly or labor intensive than I like, but it always seems worth it.


I really am craving fresh bean/pea anything and favas are packed with flavor!


Rable of rabbit is the saddle portion and is usually sold with the kidneys attached so as not to disappoint the offal eating French public.  I like them too 🙂


I browned the rabbit, leaving the kidneys attached and made a braising liquid with lardon, onions, garlic, carrots, celeriac, chicken broth and white wine.  If you are squeamish, use chicken thighs.  In fact, I might do that another time but this was delicious.


Rabbit Saddle with Fava Beans

2 lbs of fresh fava bean pods

4-6 pieces of rabbit saddle

Salt and pepper

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup lardon, diced

2 small onions, quartered

3 large garlic cloves, sliced

2 carrots, halved vertically, then sliced

1 1/2 cup celeriac, cubed

1 cup chicken broth

1 bouquet garni

1/4 cup white wine

Remove the beans from the pods, then remove the hulls and set aside. 

Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, then brown in the olive oil.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the lardon to the pan and cook until it just begins to brown.  Add the onions and garlic then cook for 3 minutes.  Add the carrots and celeriac then cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and bouquet garni, then boil for 5 minutes.

Place the vegetable mixture in the bottom of a casserole, put the rabbit on top, then pour the wine over all.  Cover and cook in a 400 F oven for 50 minutes.  Stir in the fava beans and return to the oven for about 10 minutes.  Serve with country bread slices and butter.

Beverage suggestion:  Hard cider

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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24 Responses to Cassoulet de Lapin aux Feves

  1. Mad Dog says:

    That sounds fantastic – I love broad beans and rabbit 🙂

  2. Fava beans are so labor-intensive, but so worth it — as you rightly point out! This cassoulet is making me think of spring! Which can’t come fast enough. New York has been hit with such craptacular weather this year: the hurricane, this past weekend’s blizzard. Some greenery would be nice!

  3. Not squeamish at all, this looks beautiful. Love fava (broad) beans but in Andalucia they would throw their hands up in horror that you didn’t use the skin and shells too…we like to take the easy route 😉 Have to admit, I prefer them shelled and find doing it quite therapeutic when I’m not in a rush.

  4. This recipe is utterly delightful. I can’t understand why more people in the UK don’t eat rabbit- it’s one of our best wild meats. I’ll certainly try this. Thanks.

  5. Colin Brace says:

    In his documentary “Looking for Roger”, Michael Moore interviewed working class people who were trying to survive in Flint MI after GM ruthlessly downsized its operations there, and in one scene he is interviewing a woman who was trying to eke a living by raising rabbits to sell for their meat. We see her nonchalantly club a rabbit while talking to Moore. Moore later said he got more mail about that one scene than anything else in the documentary, a hard-hitting analysis of political economy. People were indignant: how could that lady KILL A WABBIT? In the US, wabbits are cartoon characters and pets and you don’t eat those 😉 Unfortunately her brief moment in the spotlight put her out of business; some wabbit-loving city officials promptly shut her down.

    Personally, I find the attitude infantile. if you consume animal protein in any form, the least you can do is acknowledge where to comes from. Yes, once living creatures, cuddly and otherwise.

    I’ve eaten guinea pig in Peru many times. There they keep them in the their kitchens, scurrying around under the stove, until the day arrives for a fiesta…

  6. Part of the problem in the US is the food is so packaged people don’t think about what animal it came from. If it has a cute face then it horrifies them. I like rabbit but I’ll admit I have to not think about the cute face. But I do wish there was a source near me because there are so many good recipes out there.

    • I have to admit, Virginia, that if I had to kill and butcher chickens, cute bunnies, little calves or sweet little lambs, my appetite might be affected or maybe I’d just become hardened. But as it is, by the time I’m looking at this animals they look like meat, except in France where they insist on leaving feet, head and feathers, but they still look like meat, good meat.

      Squeamish Americans might want to consider becoming vegetarians. We would be a healthier nation, more concerned about the GM-ing of our fruits and vegetables, and probably wouldn’t lead the world in obesity.

      • Colin Brace says:

        Americans aren’t fat from eating meat though, right? They are obese from all the empty carbs, of which high-fructose corn syrup is only the most notorious. This has been well documented by Gary Taube among others.

        • Of course you are right Colin. I guess what I was saying is that vegetarians usually are more health conscious and take a closer look at what they are consuming as do informed omnivores 🙂

      • Gasp, take away the meat and potatoes! 🙂 There is a misconception that you can’t get enough protein from a meat free diet and that it won’t fill you up. Neither which is true. It is such a shame that the obesity problem is making its way round the world.

  7. Great dish. I have a real penchant for rabbit but, as you know, it wouldn’t get past the customs post at La Moussiere. When you think that all the other 5 houses in the hamlet have rows of rabbit hutches, which are certainly not pets, we are the odd ones out. 🙂

  8. Delicious! This dish has me thinking of spring which can’t come soon enough this year.

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