Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Braised Rabbit in Tomato-Wine Sauce

The dilemma was what to call it. "It" was a rabbit I'd braised in a wine and tomato broth to which mushrooms and pearl onions had also been added. I'd heard that rabbit tastes like chicken, so I decided to prepare it as I would a braised chicken. I had the ingredients I needed to make a sauce that resembled the one I use to make Chicken Marengo. I decided to go with that and, fortunately, it worked. Rabbit, by the way, doesn't taste like supermarket chicken. It's more like the dark meat of a free range chicken. It's not at all gamey and, while this will never be a favorite of mine, we'll have it again because Bob loves it. I'll be experimenting with sauces and techniques, so prepare yourselves for plethora of rabbit recipes. Bob was able to buy the rabbit at a local bodega that sells frozen game. Our rabbit was farm raised so I can't speak to the texture or flavor of a jackrabbit. This was really easy to prepare and comes recommended if you really want to cook a rabbit. I served it with rice pilaf. Polenta would also be a great accompaniment.

Braised Rabbit in Tomato-Wine Sauce with Mushrooms and Pearl Onions

1 2-1/2 to 3 pound rabbit, cut into pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided use
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup dry white vermouth
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
Parsley sprigs for garnish

1) Mist rabbit pieces with nonstick cooking spray. Season rabbit pieces with salt and pepper. Dredge if flour, shaking off excess.
2) Heat oil and two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add rabbit pieces and saute until golden, about 4 minutes per side.
3) Add tomato paste, garlic, vermouth, chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes, turning pieces once or twice.
4) Meanwhile, melt reserved 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan. Add onions, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and cook until lightly brown. Add mushrooms and brown.
5) Add onions and mushrooms to rabbit; cook, covered, for 15 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Transfer contents of skillet to a serving platter. Tent with foil to keep warm. Rapidly boil stock until thickened. Spoon over rabbit. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Yield: 4 servings.


Farmer Jo said...

My hubby is so happy you posted this recipe. Where did you buy the rabbit?

Mary Bergfeld said...

Jo, we have a Mexican grocer who stocks frozen game and rabbit. I think you should be able to get it in Portland. Check with family owned grocery stores in Mexican or Italian neighborhoods.

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

I have never had rabbit and honestly, I probably will never, ever. I do have to say that I would TOTALLY try the sauce over chicken though because it does look amazing.



Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

We're very fond of rabbit, or lapin as the French call it. Also love Chicken Marengo so I can understand how they go well together. We had rabbit a couple of weeks ago and I used a Chasseur sauce which is similar to Marengo with mushrooms and onions and it turned out great. I can't wait to tell my husband I have a new lapin recipe - thanks so much.

Julia said...

Totally not worth the effort, but totally fun is whack of wabbit... I mean, Rack of Rabbit. The bones are so tiny and cute!

This looks great and look forward to seeing more neat ideas for rabbit.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

I grew up eating rabbit baked in wine sauce and whenever it is on the menu in Europe, I order it. Just love it. The small bones which can splinter are often not appetizing, but it is a marvelous meat and I am really surprised it is not offered more in America. I'd be happy to sit down and enjoy this meal with you.

Ginger said...

Hi Mary,

I have never had Rabbit but would really like to try it. Your sauce sounds exceptionally delicious!!

Ning said...

What is it with men that they are so happy with eating rabbit? My Hubby also loves rabbit. Fortunately, the Chinese believe that rabbits are good meat, nutritious for the body. Unfortunately, my kids would not touch the meat because they have a pet rabbit :)

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

The picture is gorgeous but I don't think I would be able to eat rabbit. However, I would love to try this recipe on chicken, my mouth was watering reading the indgredients and I have everything at home to make this...might be something to try tomorrow night!

Netts Nook said...

I love rabbit it is so hard to find here also. Wow what a dish. You are always at the top of my list.

SleightGirl said...

I love rabbit...and that looks really yummy!

Mary Bergfeld said...

SleightGirl, it is really easy. I just wanted to welcome you to One Perfect Bite. I hope you'll become a regular visitor.

La Bella Cooks said...

I have yet to ever try rabbit but it does look amazing.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had rabbit. I'm intrigued.

NKP said...

I have never had rabbit either, I think it needs a marketing board to change the name for the meat, like they did for beef and pork.
One day I will be brave and give it a shot, I admire you for stepping outside your normal comfort zone.

Pam said...

The sauce sounds amazing but I think I'll make it with chicken - I can't help but picture a cute little bunny and I just don't think I could eat one.

noble pig said...

I have never had rabbit, I have to admit I'm afraid. It looks beautiful though.

Heather S-G said...

This is a gorgeous dinner! I like rabbit, don't eat it often...but I'd love to try it like this!

Karen said...

I'd love to try rabbit and this dish looks delicious. About the only chance I have of getting rabbit up here is if one happens into my garden one day. LOL

Laura said...

Looks fantastic--I love braised meat, although I have never had rabbit either.

Jamie said...

This is a gorgeous dish and what I not only love to make, but love to eat. I love rabbit, though the family isn't crazy about it, but this would be such a treat!

Snake Charmer said...

omg that looks so very good

Lori said...

That looks really delicious. I wonder if I would be so brave. I tell my husband that we have to get a trap because if times get tough, real tough, economically we will be giving the rabbits in our yard a run for their money!

Diary From Africa said...

I've never eaten or cooked rabbit before, but it's something I'd like to try if I ever have the chance. It looks very interesting !

3timesamom said...

My husband hunts rabbit, so we do eat rabbit occasionally. Although it doesn't taste exactly like chicken, it is very similar. If you are preparing jack rabbit yourself, it should be soaked in salt water overnight before freezing or preparing. This will take the "gamey" taste away and will also make the meat less chewy. Your dish looks great, and I will be trying this recipe soon! thank you!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Welcome 3timesamom and thanks you for the tips on jack rabbit. I hope you'll visit with us often.

Melissa and Zack said...

I can picture the look on Dad's face while he holds up the rabbit looking so proud of himself!!

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