In Flanders, rabbit is cooked slowly in beer with dried prunes added towards the end, to make a lovely stew full of flavour. It is a festive dish that we often have on Christmas eve or on Sundays with family.
Since going grain free, beer is no longer an option. Wine is a good substitute but we would normally go for red wine. This recipe however, calls for a more southern flavour that pairs well with celery, olives and capers. White wine!
Apparently, this way of cooking rabbit is in vogue on the island of Malta. You need only a few ingredients and an hour or so of cooking time. I bought – or rather Gert bought – a big rabbit, so the dish lasted us two days.
I used one big pot for the rabbit, and another for the vegetables. They were combined for stewing with the wine in both pots later on.
It tastes even better the next day.
- 1 big rabbit, in pieces. I used the liver as well.
- a few stalks of celery and a few stalks of leek, chopped.
- 4 carrots, chopped.
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
- 1 big onion or two small ones.
- olives and/or capers!
- bay leaf (and fresh rosemary if you have it, I didn’t).
- 1 bottle of white wine
- A few spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar.
- Prepare your vegetables. Chop garlic, onion, celery and carrots.
- Brown the rabbit pieces on all sides in olive oil. Go slow but brown them thoroughly. Season well with salt and black pepper.
- When they are browned, throw in a few spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar and let it rest a little.
- In another pot, fry onions in olive oil until they are translucent. Add carrots, leek, celery and garlic and let simmer for ten minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper. Towards the end, add the olives and / or the capers and the bay leaf and rosemary.
- Arrange your rabbit pieces and vegetables together, pour the white wine over it until your stew is half submerged.
- Cook for an hour or longer, on low heat and under the lid. When the meat falls of the bones, your dish is ready to serve.
It tastes even better the next day!