Rabbit and Pumpkin with Mustard

In this easy but popular autumnal recipe the pumpkin cooks down to form a lovely glowing sauce. As an alternative to parsley, small rocket leaves thrown in at the last moment are a nice touch.

Ingredients

  • 900 g/2 lb piece pumpkin
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 level teaspoons dried or bottled green peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 4 fresh rabbit joints
  • 100 g/4 oz butter
  • 3-4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 150 ml/¼ pint white wine or cider
  • 150 ml/¼ pint soured cream chopped
  • fresh parsley, to garnish
  • salt

Method

Peel the pumpkin, scoop out and discard the seeds and chop up the flesh into small pieces. Peel the cloves of garlic and chop them up roughly. Lightly crush the green peppercorns with a pestle and mortar. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron casserole over a medium heat, add the caraway seeds and stir for a moment. Then add the rabbit and brown on both sides. Add the garlic, stir for half a minute and then turn off the heat. Add the butter, cut into pieces. When the butter has melted in the hot casserole, add the pumpkin, green peppercorns, mustard, wine or cider and some salt and stir well. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook in the centre of the oven for 1¼ hours. Then stir to break up the pumpkin until it becomes a purée. Cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Just before serving, pour the soured cream over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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