Belgian rabbit stew with beer

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Konijn%20met%20pruimenA typically Belgian stew, rich with rabbit, lots of vegetables and a beer based sauce.

Ingredients: 225g/8oz pitted prunes, 240ml/8fl.oz. hot water, 3 tbsp plain flour, salt and black pepper, 8 rabbit portions, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 100g/4oz streaky bacon, cut into 2.5cm/1-inch pieces, 2 onions, coarsely chopped, 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely sliced, 1 leek, peeled and coarsely sliced, 500 ml Belgian sour beer (Rodenbach), but I prefer a dark beer (Leffe Brune) can also work, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 4 large sprigs fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 whole clove

Directions: Place the prunes in a large mixing bowl, pour over the hot water and leave to soak for at least 1 hour. This can be done while the rabbit is cooking. Season half the flour with salt and pepper and use to coat the rabbit pieces on all sides, shaking off any excess. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan, add the rabbit pieces and brown on both sides. You may have to do this in batches. Remove the rabbit pieces and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the onions, leek and carrots and cook for 7 minutes, stirring from time to time. Return the rabbit pieces to the pan, sprinkle the remaining flour over the meat and vegetables and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, turning the meat from time to time. Gradually add the beer, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly between each

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