British Bites: Braised Rabbit with Parsnips

British Bites

Classic British dishes updated for the modern American cook.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Rabbit is a lovely, delicate meat that takes well to braising in a gently seasoned cooking liquid. A mixture of just a few aromatics and mild herbs is the perfect thing to let the inherent flavor of rabbit shine. (If the idea of cooking a cute woodland creature turns you off then substitute chicken legs for an equally flavorful dish.)

When cooking rabbit I generally like to remove it from the bones before serving; they have tiny bones, and I always cringe when I see a guest pull one of those bones out of their mouths. Removing the meat from the bones then adding a few spoonfuls of the sauce to the meat while you keep it warm also lets the delicate sauce penetrate the meat, and guards against drying it out. The parsnips add a wonderful sweet and earthy element to the meal but don't overwhelm the soft flavors of the braise. A full bodied white wine or a wheat beer would be a great accompaniment.