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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rabbit and Sausage Cassoulet for the Monthly Recipe Swap

It's the beginning of new month which means it's time for another Burwell General Store Recipe Swap. The recipe swaps started as a junk store book find.  This book All-Day Singin' and Dinner on the Ground  intrigued Christianna to redevelop these recipes into her own. The swap grew from there.

I was excited about this months recipe: Wild Rabbit with Vegetables. This meant I needed to go rabbit hunting. And when I say rabbit hunting, I mean I biked over to the meat packing district in the West Loop of Chicago to purchase my rabbit out of the back door of an old warehouse. I did wear my camouflage pants to be in full rabbit-hunting spirits!

With the fall season approaching I wanted to make something warm and hearty. A cassoulet is similar to classic stew or casserole even, filled with rich slow cooked beans. The perfect welcome to the approaching cool season.

If you haven't had rabbit before, it's tough to describe - it can resemble a tender yet wild chicken but so much better. When prepared in this cassoulet, the rabbit is so moist and tender it falls right off the bone. The beans become almost creamy.

Don your best hunting gear for a trip to the butchers, then get this rabbit in the oven. It's time for a delicious Fat and Happy fall casserole!

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: If you use dried beans, plan ahead as you'll need to soak them the night before you use them.

Rabbit and Sausage Cassoulet

1 rabbit cut into pieces(roughly 2 lbs)
1 tbls grainy mustard
1 tbls apricot jelly or jam
1 garlic clove 
Seasoning salt and fresh black pepper

1 white onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 tsp dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, mined
2 hot italian sausages, casing removed
1 cup white wine
1 cup broth (chicken  or beef)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cup cooked Great Northern beans (or 2 cans), see directions for cooking dried beans below
1 cup grilled corn
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Mix together the mustard, jelly and garlic, toss the rabbit pieces in the marinade. Season well with the seasoning salt and pepper. In a 3.5 quart oven dish, brown the rabbit in a drizzle of oil (add all the marinade on the rabbit) and then set the rabbit pieces aside.

Add the onions to the same rabbit pan, cook over medium heat for just a few minutes. Add in the sausage, crumble the sausage into medium sized pieces. Add in the carrots, garlic and dried thyme, let cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour in the wine, use a wooden spoon to get all the tasty pieces off the bottom and sides of the pan. Add in the broth, corn and cooked beans then nestle the browned rabbit into the casserole dish.

Cover the dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 2 hours. Check the dish half way through, you may need to add a little more broth to it.

Turn the oven to broil, remove the lid from the pan, sprinkle the cassoulet with the bread crumbs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the crumbs and brown under the broiler.

Cooking dried beans:
They key with dried beans is the soaking process to remove the noxious gas. It certainly takes more time and planning to use dried beans but the difference can be be converter-worthy. Personally, I lean on canned beans quite often; but some recipes just scream for the attention of simmered beans. This rabbit dish was one such dish.

There are many great directions for cooking dried beans. Follow this link for basic directions from the California Dried Bean Advisory Board, and there are great directions for cooking dried beans here. I add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves to both the soaking and cooking water for flavor.

Visit all the recipe swappers:
Please take a moment to look at all the rabbit recipe swaps created by this crew. We are a immensely talented and diverse, as you'll see in the various interpretations of this humble recipe by: Christianna, Dennis, Toni, Shumaila, Alex, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Emily, Krissy, Jacqueline, Lana and Jaclyn. Visit the swap page for everyone's bios and please visit all of our blogs to let us all know what you think of our inventions!


  1. I L-O-V-E cassoulet! What a perfect way to celebrate and change up this recipe. The weather here has turned cool just this weekend feeling like it is going toward this kind of dish. Simply perfect Monique! Great photos too. Love it. Toni

  2. I love the Italian sausage in there! I would love to make this! Nice work

  3. ooh! What they said! I love cassoulet, and I love that you interpreted the dish with rabbit - thanks again for participating in the swap, I love reading your inspirations and inventions.

  4. Okay, my mouth is drooling now! This is gorgeous. I had rabbit once but I have a sneaking suspicion I would prefer your cassoulet.

    P.S. Thanks for the shoutout! :)

  5. Oh, I am a sucker for a good cassoulet! What a fantastic idea & delicious take on the swap. Great photos, great recipe, great post!

  6. I prepared cassoulet only once, and while it was pretty time-consuming, it was worth the effort. I am so jealous you managed to find the rabbit, but one of these days (soon!) it will end up in my pot, too!
    This is a great dish for Autumn, which is approaching fast! We've had a hot week here in Serbia, but tomorrow the Fall begins, as we expect rain and a cold front.
    I love being a member of this group - so many talented people with great ideas to inspire!
    BTW, I added you in my post - I just copied the list from Christianna's blog, and she missed me, too:)

  7. That is really funny you wore camouflage for the occasion..great idea! I wore a white tank top to feel like a butcher when preparing the rabbit! Your marinade of mustard, apricot jam and garlic sounds so interesting and tangy!

  8. This looks so warm and inviting! Great take on the Swap! Would have loved to try it out- thanks to my husband, rabbit is something I'll never get to make!

  9. This recipe's looks good and delicious. But I don't I can do this to my lovely bunny. I can use chicken instead.

  10. Pet Food: Save your bunny! Chicken will work great in this; I would suggest using dark meat and including the bones to get it extra flavor.



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