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Keith Austin: When the world is your lobster Stories from a former Travel Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.

More rabbit than Watership Down

FRANCE | Sunday, 22 March 2009 | Views [1025] | Comments [3]

The chef readies himself for action... the apron says Eats, Roots and Leaves...

The chef readies himself for action... the apron says Eats, Roots and Leaves...

Mes amis, je suis desole. Vraiment I am.  A combination of a few days in the UK seeing the family, problems getting online while there, and general lassitude on my part have led to a prolonged absence from the blogosphere and an egregious failure to provide the promised recipe for  Lapin Braisee a la Mode du Keith.

It did, though, afford me the opportunity to test the recipe out on my family in East London. It wasn’t a huge success.  Not because it didn’t work – it was much the same as the first time – but because my sister and her four children find it hard to put anything in their mouths that hasn’t come out of a box. And the idea of eating a RABBIT!?!?! Urgh. Disgusting. Love that Big Mac, though.

My mum liked it, thank God.

Interestingly, the rabbit I bought here in France (see blogs passim) was a fairly expensive 20 euro but the fellow (let's call it Fiver, or Hazel or Bigwig) I purchased in Bethnal Green (marked up as born and raised in France) was the equivalent of  8-9 euro.

Anyway, better late than never, here it is:


Olive oil

One rabbit, cut into 6-8 pieces, depending on size

1 litre of cider (or more to just cover the rabbit)

2 carrots (sliced how you like them)

1 leek (sliced)

1 chicken bouillon cube (or equivalent)

2 large potatoes (peeled and cut into medium-sized cubes)

1 onion (sliced)

A large handful of mushrooms (or more if you cannot find lovely flavoursome French cepes or suchlike)

I tbsp tomato paste

Water to fill

Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with a green veg and mash or slabs of crusty bread


Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and sear the rabbit pieces all over.

Tip the whole lot into a large saucepan over a high heat and, when sizzling, pour in all of the cider until the rabbit is almost but not quite covered. Keep it bubbling while you cut up the vegetables and, basically, lob the whole lot in, add the tomato paste and cover with cold water.

Bring back to the boil for 10-15 minutes, turn down and simmer for 2 hours or until the rabbit starts to fall away from the bone. When it’s nearly done I tend to search out the potato cubes and crush them against the side of the saucepan to thicken the sauce.

Et voila, Lapin Braisee a la Mode du Keith

Enjoy. And let me know how it goes.

PS. Oh, go on, lob the head in if you want but I would find that eye peering back up at me a little disconcerting.

Tags: eating, food, france, lapin, rabbit, recipe, uk



oi y u tryna make ur family sound like scum 4 i tried ur nasty rabbit food n it was horible coz ir jus tasted ov warm beer n i dont like beer, n we dont eat stuff "out ov boxes" we cook stuff jus like u jus dont try make it all posh by adding bout 10 bottles of beer 2 it tryna make us sound like were sum scumy family or summik. i swear i ate chilli we u cooked it b4 oh yeah dat rite i did didnt i but hold up i dont eat nuffin out a box do i. ps i dont even eat big mac

  freddie austin Mar 23, 2009 1:52 AM


I am sure that two of your sisters children tried your rabbit stew and disliked it due to the huge amount of cider it was soaked in and not the fact that it contained rabbit.

  Keiran Austin Mar 23, 2009 3:38 AM


Its a long way from Lapin Braisee that you were brought up!! Sounds like living in frogland is starting to adversely affect you. I'll bring some Carlton Draught or VB over for you when I come over to try to snap you out of it!!

  Aido Mar 23, 2009 10:50 AM



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