Now that you’ve got a few rabbits ready to eat, you need a simple way to cook them that everyone will enjoy eating. This stew is like a chicken soup—in fact, if you didn’t tell anyone it was rabbit, they’d assume it was chicken. It’s hearty and doesn’t take a lot of prep. Serve it with rolls or crusty bread to sop up the stock, and precooked egg noodles are a nice addition.
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
What You Need
- 2 to 4 rabbits, cleaned and quartered; the number depends on the size of your pot and the size of your rabbits
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, yellow or white, chopped small
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 or 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of thyme (optional)
- 1 cup red wine, or substitute 3/4 cup apple juice and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (you can even substitute other translucent fruit juice, like cranberry juice)
- 4 cups chicken stock or rabbit stock (you can use the leftover bones from this to make stock for next time)
- Dutch oven or another oven-safe pot with a lid
Cook It Like This
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Get your Dutch oven heated up on the stove over medium-high heat — about the same setting you’d use for pancakes. When the rim of the pot is hot, you’re ready to cook. Use a little olive oil to brown the rabbit pieces on all sides. Make sure they get truly brown — it always takes longer than I think it will. Brown them in batches, and set aside.
- Add the butter and use it to saute the onions, carrots, and celery for about ten minutes until the carrots are tender. Now add the garlic and saute for another minute. Use a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Sprinkle the flour over the veggie mixture and stir well to coat all the veggies. Cook it for another minute. The flour will thicken the stew.
- While stirring, add the red wine (or the apple cider vinegar and apple juice) to deglaze the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the stuff stuck on the pot from the meat and veggies. If you used apple cider vinegar, the smell of vinegar will dissipate as it evaporates and the rest will cook away later.
- Add the stock and stir together.
- Put the meat back in and make sure it’s mostly covered with the soup.
- Add bay leaves and thyme and bring to a simmer
- Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for two hours or so, and make check it now and then to make sure it hasn’t boiled dry. If you don’t have an oven-safe lid, you could use aluminum foil, but you should check it more frequently.
- The meat is ready when it pulls freely from the bone. Remove the bones and serve with parsley sprinkled on top. You can save the bones in a baggie in the freezer to make stock later.
Bonus: about 30 minutes before the stew is finished, prepare a pot full of egg noodles to add to the stew after you remove the bones.