Rabbit and prunes are a classic combination, appearing in many recipes. Boiled new potatoes or noodles go well with this dish.
1rabbit (2-2½lb/1kg), cut in pieces
salt and pepper
1tbsp chopped parsley (for sprinkling)
For the Red Wine Marinade
1onion, coarsely chopped
1carrot, coarsely chopped
large bouquet garni
6peppercorns, lightly crushed
To marinate the rabbit: Pack the pieces in a deep bowl, layering them with onion, carrot and bouquet garni. Sprinkle with peppercorns and pour over the wine and oil. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning the rabbit pieces occasionally.
Pour boiling water over the prunes and leave them to soak until cool. Drain the rabbit and pat dry with paper towels, reserving the marinade ingredients. In a sauté pan or shallow casserole, heat the oil and butter and brown the rabbit pieces on all sides. Remove from the pan, add the onion and carrot from the marinade and sauté lightly until soft. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until the flour browns. Stir in the marinade, bouquet garni, and wine and bring to a boil. Stir in the stock, garlic, salt and pepper and replace the rabbit in the pan.
Cover and simmer for 25 minutes on top of the stove or in the oven at 350°F/175°C. Transfer the rabbit to another shallow casserole and strain the sauce over it, pressing hard on the vegetables to extract the liquid. Drain the prunes, add them to the rabbit and cover the pan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the rabbit and prunes are tender.
Arrange the rabbit on a serving dish with the prunes on top. If necessary, boil to reduce the sauce until it just coats a spoon. Season the sauce to taste and pour it over the rabbit. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.