The British Are Coming!

I’ve often been impressed and surprised by the excellent recipes from the BBC’s food section.  Forgetting that the days of dull, unimaginative English cuisine are long gone and chefs like Jamie Oliver are showing Americans a thing or two.

I miss rabbit when I’m in the States and BBC’s recipe for rabbit stew with prunes was inspiring and perfect!  I bought two rabbits and barely flinching, I cooked the heads along with the rest because “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”  Anyway M. Parret has a thing for rabbit head 🙂

One of the rabbits was quite a bit larger than the other.  I worried about them fitting inside my tajine but it worked.  Prunes soaked in cognac, a full bottle of red wine, lardons, herbs and carrots; a few of my favorite things 🙂

Rabbit Stew with Prunes

1 cup dried prunes, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp Cognac

2 cleaned rabbits, cut up, with or without heads

Salt and pepper


3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup lardons

1 onion, halved and sliced

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced

2 celery branches, sliced

2 thyme springs

2 bay leaves

1 bottle red wine

1 cup chicken broth

Mix the prunes, sugar and cognac together in a small bowl, set aside and allow to soak for about and hour.

Season the rabbits, including the liver with salt and pepper, dust with flour, then brown in a large skillet with the olive oil.  Remove and set aside.  Add the lardons, onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the skillet and cook until the lardons begins to brown.  Add the thyme, bay leaves, red wine, broth and soaked prunes with liquid to the skillet.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Place the rabbit pieces on the bottom of a stove top tajine or stove top casserole with lid.  Pour over the sauce, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.




About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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11 Responses to The British Are Coming!

  1. Mad Dog says:

    WW2 and 15 years of rationing (spam and powdered egg) meant that a generation of Britons had no idea how to cook – it took a couple of decades to recover. Jamie just did a fantastic show, driving round Italy and collecting recipes from little old ladies …and buy that I mean ladies who are about 95+. I’m not always a fan of his style, but this series and book are excellent.
    Your rabbit looks delicious!

  2. sallyb113 says:

    This looks delicious and ideal for a dinner on a cold night

  3. jmcheney says:

    My English childhood pen-pal, said when she a married, in the early 60s, a man a bit older than herself, that he handed her an Elizabeth David book (I have forgotten which one) & said please read this. She is an excellent cook & puts it down to David. (Though I the birthday cake her mother baked for me in 1959 was divine. She sold them at the WI.) Do you all give ED some credit for inspiring that postwar British generation? I have been very inspired by her books since discovering them in the 60s for myself.

  4. I love rabbit and this recipe pie is excellent. And I’ll back up Mad’s comment about the new Jamie Oliver book, it’s excellent, I’ve already been inspired by several of the recipes.

  5. Stella says:

    I also love rabbit so thanks for that recipe!

  6. Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely rabbit Rosemary. I cooked a rabbit stew with prunes when in France last. I was prompted to do it by the glorious prunes on open display in Libourne market. Rabbit is not hard to come by down there either.

  7. Rationing was a definite set back. Which is such a shame as if you look at the traditional meals, they are full of flavour. Just like this recipe!

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