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Backyard Bunny in Mustard Cream Sauce - Backyard Grocery

Backyard Bunny in Mustard Cream Sauce

wild rabbit in mustard sauce

Rich and creamy, backyard bunny is a fabulous dinner.

We had a rough week in our house for many reasons, but the worst is that Rick got a call with very bad news just as he was walking out of the woods and packing up his hunting gear. In the process of rushing off to the hospital, his brand new bow was destroyed. Brand New. Very Expensive. Destroyed.

It was a bad night for so many reasons.

We agreed he couldn’t survive this family crisis without hunting, which is how he relaxes and deals with stress. So the next day, armed with the little piece of bow he recovered from the road, he went to the archery store to see what they could do. The story ends well. They had another bow (unusual at this time of hunting season) and they felt so bad for him they gave him a good deal. And our insurance opted to cover it!

Armed with the new bow, Rick went out to check one of his deer cameras. He was itching to try the bow, but wasn’t going to hunt in that spot. That’s when he spotted a rabbit, just sitting there. Not moving.

Two hours later I had my first ever rabbit to cook and no idea what to do with it. We happened to be dining out at El Manantial in Reston, a Spanish restaurant that occasionally serves game. So we asked Chef Enrique what he would do and he gave me the recipe for rabbit in mustard cream sauce. Now, I’d had a glass of wine, and his English is very heavily accented, so I only walked away with about half of the instructions. Fortunately, this is a popular way to prepare rabbit. I found a version of the recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Hunter Angler Gardner Cook (hosted on Simply Recipes). I used it as a guideline for ratios, but added chicken stock as suggested by Chef Enrique (not sure that was necessary…my sauce ended up thinner as a result).

The result? Rick has my permission to start hunting rabbit regularly. Unfortunately, he doesn’t see them often. We have to figure that out. But braising the meat made it fall-of-the-bone tender. The flavor is almost more pork like than chicken like, which surprised and delighted me. Perfect with the bite of mustard and smoothness of the cream.


Recipe: Rabbit in Mustard Cream Sauce

Summary: This is a traditional French country recipe for wild rabbit.


  • 1 rabbit, cut into pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 to 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 to 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grainy country mustard
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 TSP dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • finely chopped parsley


prepping and browing rabbit

  1. Salt the rabbit pieces well and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour to draw out excess liquid. Before browning, pat the rabbit pieces dry with a paper towel.
  2. Heat the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan with a lid.
  3. Brown the rabbit, taking care not to overcrowd the pan (brown them in batches if needed). Keep the heat low so you don’t scorch the butter.
  4. Set the browned rabbit pieces aside. Add the shallot to the pan and saute it until just tender and brown.
  5. Add the white wine and turn the heat to high to deglaze the pan. Scrape off any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the mustard, water, chicken stock, and thyme (the liquid should just cover the meat). Bring to a rolling boil.
    making mustard cream sauce for rabbit.
  7. Add the rabbit pieces, coat them with the sauce, then turn the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer for about 45 minutes. You may need a little more time, depending on how wild your rabbit is.
  8. When the meat is ready, remove it to a platter and cover to keep warm.
  9. Turn the heat to high and boil the sauce down by half. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream.
  10. Cover the rabbit with the cream sauce and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

Quick notes

Our Northern Virginia white tail rabbits are small. If you have a hare or jack rabbit, you may need to double the ingredients…and you’ll be able to serve more than two.

I prepared this the night before we ate it. I did everything up to the point of finishing the sauce with the cream. It was perfect. It only took 10 minutes to get dinner on the table, which is great on a Friday night.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)

Diet tags: High protein, Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: French

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © Susan Rose.

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