White Wine-Braised Rabbit With Mustard

White Wine-Braised Rabbit With Mustard

This is a version of lapin à la moutarde, a homey, traditional French dish still popular in old-fashioned Parisian bistros at lunchtime. Yes, there are quite a few steps required to put this dish on the table, but probably no more than 30 minutes of active work. It is essentially a one-pot meal, with a little fiddling. The pleasingly sharp, succulent, saucy result is worth the extra effort. Get your rabbit in a butcher shop if possible, and ask to have it cut up; if your only option is a whole rabbit, it’s not much more difficult than cutting up a chicken. Serve with noodles if you'd like, or rice, mashed potatoes or steamed new potatoes.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Lay rabbit pieces on a baking sheet and season each piece generously with salt and pepper. (If you are using a pepper mill, adjust it for coarse grind.)
  2. Step 2

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put a deep, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add lard or oil.
  3. Step 3

    Put 1 cup flour on a wide plate. Dip seasoned rabbit pieces in flour and dust off excess. Gently set them in the hot oil in one layer without crowding; work in batches if necessary. Adjust heat to keep them from browning too quickly. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until nicely browned.
  4. Step 4

    Remove browned rabbit from pan and set aside. Add diced onion to fat remaining in pan. Keep heat brisk and cook onions until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Step 5

    Sprinkle onions with 2 tablespoons flour and stir until well incorporated, then cook for a minute or so, until mixture starts to smell toasty. Add wine and 1 cup broth, whisking as the sauce thickens. Whisk in remaining broth and the whole-grain mustard and bring to a simmer. Taste for salt and adjust.
  6. Step 6

    Return browned rabbit pieces to the sauce. Add thyme and sage. Cover pot and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until meat is fork tender. (Alternatively, simmer over low heat, covered, on the stove top, for about the same amount of time.)
  7. Step 7

    Using tongs, remove rabbit pieces from sauce, set aside, and keep warm. Put saucepan over medium heat and bring contents to a simmer. Whisk in crème fraîche, Dijon mustard and capers and simmer until somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste sauce and adjust.
  8. Step 8

    Transfer rabbit to a warmed serving bowl and ladle the sauce over. Sprinkle generously with chives and a little freshly ground pepper. Accompany with noodles if desired.