makes 6 servings
1 pound pitted prunes
¼ pound slab bacon (rind removed), cut into pieces
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
two frozen and thawed 2½-pound rabbits, disjointed
4 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, scraped and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Two 12-ounce bottles dark beer or ale
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
Place the prunes in a bowl with just enough warm water to cover and let soak for 1 hour.
In a large, heavy pot, fry the bacon over moderate heat till most of the fat is rendered and drain on paper towels. On a plate, mix together 3 tablespoons of the flour and the salt and pepper and dredge the rabbit pieces in the mixture, tapping off excess flour. In batches, brown the rabbit on all sides in the bacon fat and transfer the pieces to a plate.
Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the pot and stir till softened, about 5 minutes. Return the rabbit to the pot, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour over the top, and cook about 5 minutes longer, turning the pieces. Gradually add the beer, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly before adding more. Add the vinegar, thyme, bay leaves, and cloves, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the prunes and bacon, cover, and simmer till the rabbit is very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve the rabbit hot.
courtesy of: The Bacon Cookbook: More than 150 Recipes from Around the World for Everyone's Favorite Food by James Villas. Wiley, 2007