Rabbit with Apricots

A succulent dish to serve for dinner, Rabbit with Apricots may be accompanied by tsauteed potatoes and a well-chilled

Hungarian Riesling wine.

3 pints water

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

1 X 4 lb. rabbit, cleaned and cut into serving pieces

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 oz. butter

1 oz. flour

15 fl. oz. chicken stock

8 oz. dried apricots, soaked overnight and drained

Pour the water and vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Add the rabbit pieces and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. Remove the rabbit pieces from the marinade and dry them thoroughly on kitchen paper towels. Discard the marin-ade. Rub the rabbit pieces all over with the salt, pepper and cloves.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 T (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large, shallow, flameproof cas-serole, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the rabbit pieces and cook, turning them occasionally with tongs, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned.

Remove the casserole from the heat and, using the tongs, transfer the rabbit pieces to a plate. Keep warm.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the butter in the casserole. Reduce the heat to low and return the casserole to the heat. Cook the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.

Gradually pour the stock into the casserole, stirring constantly, being careful to avoid lumps. Return the pan to the heat. Increase the heat to high and, stirring constantly, bring the liquid to the boil. Add the apricots and return the rabbit pieces to the casserole. Stir to coat them with the sauce.

Remove the casserole from the heat, cover and place it in the oven. Cook for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the rabbit meat is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Lift the rabbit pieces out of the casserole and arrange them on a warmed serving dish.

Pour over the sauce and serve immediately.

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