OK, OK, before you get yourself all worked up in a tizzy about eating wild rabbit, I ask that you consider a few things.
1. I’m always looking for recipes that pay homage to my ancestors. For me, that meant not having to go too far down the ancestral line as I clearly remember my dad talking about possum stew or rabbit sauce for that Sunday’s pasta. Whatever grampa came home with made its way into the pot, he would say. As a kid, that totally grossed me out, but just recently it started to become a curiosity.
2. One of my favorite cook books — ‘Cooking With Italian Grandmothers’ — dedicated an entire chapter to cooking with rabbit. So I always knew a rabbit stew was in my future…cooking up recipes from that book really make me feel Italian
3. My son-in-law is an avid hunter. When he mentioned he was going rabbit hunting and suggested we whip something up with his catch, I thought…perfect — a willing partner to help with my secret rabbit obsession.
So…are you on board yet? If not, here’s my last ditch attempt to bring you over to the wild side. (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Organic…free-range…hormone-free… antiobiotic-free… whatever you want to call it, its the kind of meat the purists pay up to $40/lb. for. Its why I substitute most of my beef dishes with my husband’s just caught elk (which by the way you might want to try in my Elk Borgonione recipe).
If I haven’t convinced you to continue reading by now, I never will, so I’m glad you’re still with me! So without further ado, let’s get to it.
First let’s start with the pieces. Since my rabbit was rather small I started with 4 pieces.
Next, like with any other meat for a stew or braise, I like to put a nice sear on it.
Next let’s get to the other ingredients — the veggies and deglazers.
Remove the rabbit and saute the veggies. Once softened, deglaze the pan.
Add the rabbit back in and simmer on low for a little over an hour. Bam! You just made a lovely rabbit entree. Oh…and, its delicious! Kinda tastes like chicken
Coniglio in Bianco (White Wine Braised Rabbit)
– 1 rabbit
– 1 to 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 yellow onion, medium dice
– 7 cloves garlic, whole and peeled
– 1 large carrot, peeled medium dice
– 1 stalk celery, peeled medium dice
– 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
– 1/2 tsp. minced dried hot pepper
– 3/4 cup water
– 1.5 cup white wine
– Zest of 1/4 lemon
– Chopped parsley to garnish
Cut the rabbit into pieces.
Warm 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sear the rabbit, in batches if necessary. Set them aside and sprinkle with the salt.
Turn the heat down a bit and saute the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, rosemary and hot pepper in oil remaining in the pan. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, stirring often until they have lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping up any browned bits. Add the water and lemon zest and return the rabbit to the pot. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered, for 1 hr. 15 minutes.
Serve the rabbit in shallow bowls with a ladle of braising sauce poured over.