Rabbit Lasagne with Mushrooms and Sage Bechamel

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This is rich and deeply comforting. Each pasta layer is cloaked in a dreamy sage-scented bechamel. Roll on autumn, I’m ready!

Rabbit Lasagne

1 large rabbit, jointed
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
100 ml white wine
1 generous sprig thyme
1 litre stock
2 bay leaves
1 generously heaped tablespoon tomato purée
1 small bunch parsley leaves, chopped
200g wild mushrooms
6 ripe tomatoes, de-seeded (and skinned if you like) and roughly chopped

For the sauce

400ml milk
50g butter
50g flour
Parmesan, grated (a good handful, or to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped sage
salt and pepper

Cheddar cheese, for grating
Lasagne sheets

- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
– Heat some oil in a pan – 3-4 tablespoons (I like to use a roasting tray which I put directly onto the stove top and then transfer to the oven later). Add the rabbit pieces and cook on a high heat until browned on all sides. Remove the rabbit pieces and set aside.
– Add the onions, garlic to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring.
– Add the wine, tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme, cook for a minute, then add back the rabbit pieces. Add the stock, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes, remove from the oven and set the rabbit pieces aside.
– Remove the thyme and bay leaves form the pan, then reduce until thickened by approximately half. During this time, shred the rabbit meat from the bones, then add back to the sauce along with the mushrooms and parsley.

For the bechamel

- Bring the milk to almost boiling then set aside.
– Melt the butter in a pan, then add the flour and stir vigorously to form a roux. Add a little of the milk at a time until all the milk is incorporated, stirring constantly.
– Add the parmesan and stir to combine before adding the sage and seasoning.

Assembly

- Turn the oven to 180C/350F
– Rabbit mixture, lasagne sheets, bechamel, rabbit mixture, lasagne, bechamel etc. Grated cheese on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Meat Stock Recipe

4 medium meat bones
1 carrot
1 stick celery, in quarters
1 onion, halved
2 juniper berries
4 peppercorns
Pinch salt
2 bay leaves

- Roast the bones and vegetables for 30-40 minutes in a 230C/450F oven.
– Remove and add to a stock pot along with 3 litres water, bring to the boil then simmer for 1.5-2 hours, removing the scum every now and then. Drain through a sieve. Cool and freeze until needed. It will keep for a month or so.

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29 thoughts on “Rabbit Lasagne with Mushrooms and Sage Bechamel

  1. I suspect that Buggs Bunny might be to blame for rabbit meat not being more popular on U.S. plates, although Porky Pig hasn’t had much affect on the love for bacon, ham, and barbecued ribs.

  2. Finally got round to making this tonight and it was really, really good (nom!).

    My OH made the bechamel sauce and now proclaims himself a culinary genius. The sage in the bechamel works wonderfully (I think I’ll try adding it to all lasagnes). No white wine handy so I used a bit of sherry for the ragu part worked just fine.

  3. I had to laugh – when I was a teenager I refuse to eat rabbit because it looked too much in death like it did in life… and then I grew up. Phew!! I love rabbit and don’t cook with it often enough. As for the bones argument, I don’t see how a rabbit can be any worse than a chicken in that department?! *Love* the sound of this lasagna – you had me at “sage-scented bechamel” :)

    Jeannes last blog post..Thyme and sage roasted spaghetti squash – and a cautionary tale

  4. Peter – Blimey! The lasagne was nice but bowing!
    Fearless kitchen – Hmm, maybe the ones over there are fattier, I’m not sure, having never tried one> the wild rabbits over here are fairly lean though, must be all that running aorund and reproducing ;)
    Katie – Yes I’m not sure I could catch my own!
    Pete – Rabbit bolognase sounds really really good! I must try that.
    Jenn- I knew you wouldn’t be able to! that is very sweet of you.
    Daziano – Well I am very honoured to have the seal of approval from an Italian!
    Terry – Lucky coyote….
    Kitt – I totally agree and thanks for the video link, I will check it out.
    Ben – You must try it!
    Wendy – Yes, you must try it, it’s not a gamey flavour at all, it’s sort of like really flavourful and rich tasting chicken.
    Dan – Give it a try, you won’t need to trick them twice I don’t think.
    Mike – Ah, try not to think about your childhood pet when you are eating!
    Irene – I think it is probably better for you than eating red meat so make that dream a reality!
    David – I knew you would be a fan.

  5. I haven’t tasted rabbit for some reason. Have no qualms about it whatsoever (ethically, I prefer to eat wild meat). Have eaten hare and thought it was horrid. Perhaps that’s what’s stopped me…

    Lovely pics. You’ve really caught what I love most about lasagnes: the bubbling crispy bits!

    Wendys last blog post..Blueberry Soup

  6. I’ve only ever had rabbit braised, but I love it. Flavorful and not gamey at all. I’d love to try it in lasagna. It does seem odd that rabbit is not more common in U.S. markets (and expensive as a result). Sure, rabbits are cute, but so are most of the other animals we eat. And they’re so economical to raise.

    And why don’t more people eat squirrel? (Saw this squirrel sandwich video yesterday.)

    Kitts last blog post..I’m No. 1!

  7. This looks absolutely phenomenal, and that’s coming from someone with very conservative ideas about lasagne! I love how you’ve added sage to the bechamel – I’ve always found bechamel to be kind of bland, but you’ve cured it.

    I think part of the problem I’ve always had with rabbit is the grease factor – maybe the ones over here are fattier? It’s also hard to find here. The lemony and fennel-y (yes, I made up that word) would really cut through a lot of that heaviness.

    Fearless Kitchens last blog post..Recipe: Pisto Manchego

  8. Kittie – I heartily enourage you to get down to that butchers and get yourself a rabbit! They will cut it up for you so there is no fuss and hen you can just enjoy the wonderful flavour!
    Ginger – That is such a shame it is not so readily available where you are. When you do come across one though, at least it will be a delicious treat.
    Peter – Of course I did! I really want people to eat more rabbit, it is so tasty!

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