Braised Rabbit with Wild Mushrooms

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Large, meaty, mature rabbits (available frozen in better supermarkets) are ideal for slow braising, so when shopping, check carefully to make sure the rabbit is not too small and bony—as many tend to be. Generally, a 3½-pound meaty rabbit will serve at least four people; if you have any doubt, your best bet is to buy two. I love the earthy flavor of fresh morels with this rabbit, but if these mushrooms are not available (or too expensive for your budget), substitute either chanterelles or shiitakes. The rabbit should be fork tender after about a half hour of braising. If it’s not, cook it longer.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • One -pound rabbit, dressed and cut into serving pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ pound fresh wild mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • cups beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried and crumbled)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chervil leaves (or ¼ teaspoon dried and crumbled)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat, add the rabbit pieces (in batches, if necessary), brown on all sides, and transfer to a plate. Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking till most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, tarragon, and chervil, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and allow to boil till the sauce begins to thicken, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Arrange the rabbit pieces in a large, greased baking dish, pour the sauce over the top, cover, and bake till the rabbit is fork tender and the sauce nicely thickened, 30 to 35 minutes.