Russian Cuisine

Main dishes



1 3 1/2-pound hare or rabbit
1/2 cup (1/4 pound) unsalted butter
2 medium carrots
1 medium parsley root
1 medium onion
2 cups canned chicken consomme
10 black peppercorns, 5 all- spice berries, and 2 bay leaves, tied in a cheese- cloth bag
1 1/2 cups sour cream
Salt to taste

Wash the rabbit thoroughly, then soak in lukewarm water to cover for 1 hour. Rinse and dry in paper towels. Cut into serving pieces: drumsticks, thighs, front legs, quarter or half saddles. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and brown the pieces for 5-7 minutes on each side. Slice the vegetables Y4 inch thick. Place the rabbit and vegetables in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, add the consomme and the spice bag, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is slightly underdone . Set the baking rack at the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the rabbit to another ovenproof container and cover to pre- vent the meat from cooling. Remove and discard the spice bag. Strain the vegetables, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Puree the vegetables in a food processor or push them through a sieve. Combine the puree with the reserved cooking liquid and the sour cream. Mix well, add salt to taste, then mix gently with the meat. Bake, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Arrange the rabbit pieces on a heated platter, serve the sauce in a sauceboat. Serve with prunes, salads.

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