Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rabbit with Rosemary and White Wine

I've never cooked rabbit before. I've eaten it and found it delicious, so I was eager to try it on my own. For some reason, I didn't realize rabbit would look so ... rabbity. At the butcher shop, the poor rabbits still had their heads attached and appeared to be frozen mid-leap. Luckily, the butcher offered to cut the rabbit and gave me a choice between taking the head or not. When it came time to actually cook the rabbit, it took all of my will to handle the poor bunny. I was certain I'd never cook rabbit again, but then I tried this dish ... and I may have to make rabbit again. If only I could find a less rabbit-looking rabbit.

The only changes I made to this dish is skipping on soaking the rabbit, simmering the rabbit for longer, and upping the garlic slightly. The sauce on this dish is outstanding. Prior to serving, a few of us were lapping up the extra sauce with bread. I highly recommend it.

Rabbit with Rosemary and White Wine (from Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking)

1 rabbit cut into 8 pieces (3 - 3.5 lbs)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1 - 2 garlic cloves, peeled (I also minced)
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 springs fresh rosemary
black pepper
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup warm water

1. Choose a saute pan that can contain all the rabbit pieces without overlapping. Add oil, celery, garlic, and rabbit, cover tightly and turn heat on low.
2. Cook rabbit, turning the meat occasionally, but do not leave uncovered for 2 - 2.5 hours.
3. Uncover the pan, turn the heat up to medium, and cook until all the liquid has simmered away, turning the rabbit from time to time.
4. Add wine, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Allow wine to simmer until it has evaporated.
5. Meanwhile, dissolve bouillon cube and tomato paste in 1/3 cup warm water.
6. Add mixture to the pan. Cook at a steady, gentle simmer for another 15 minutes or more, until the juices have formed a dense little sauce, turning the rabbit pieces from time to time.

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