This recipe for Hasenpfeffer German Wine Braised Rabbit does take 2 days to marinate, but it is so worth it. Tender low-fat rabbit in a delicious wine sauce? Yes, please
The making of Hasenpfeffer - German Wine Braised Rabbit
How long until it's ready?
Two to three days. That's how long until it's ready!
Hasenpfeffer is a German Wine Braised Rabbit that has been marinated for a couple of days in a tasty onion and garlic infused wine marinade and is so so tender and fall off the bone good that you will want to make it. Often.
Rabbit is a low-fat, high-protein, easily digestible protein that has fallen out of favor as a food source since its heyday. I don't know, maybe Thumper or Bugs Bunny had something to do with it, but rabbit is still a great meat; and with their reputation as good breeders, they certainly can keep meat on the table! No, I don't raise them, and I don't kill them. I get mine frozen or order it fresh from my butcher, but you could go hunting if you choose to.
"There are probably as many family recipes for Hasenpfeffer as there are for Paella"
Rabbit or Hare?
Rabbits are different then hares (the true translation of the word Hasen) in that they are born bald and sightless while hares are born with hair and fully sighted. Hares are also gamier in flavor; so I prefer rabbit as its meat is very mild and white. You could use rabbit in any dish that you would use chicken in, although I don't think they taste the same.
I mean, why does everything that's not beef, or pork always have to taste like chicken?
Maybe it just tastes like rabbit!
I think rabbit to hare in flavor is like lamb to mutton.
And while I love lamb, I don't like mutton.
There are probably as many family recipes for Hasenpfeffer as there are for Paella. Each family does it a little differently. My recipe comes from my great-grandfather who was a chef in Germany. Not entirely "traditional" as my Hasenpfeffer recipe uses no vinegar in the marinade, only white wine.
Because I like it that way.
My Oma made it that way, my mother made it that way, and I make it that way.
How to make Hasenpfeffer - The VIDEO!
Rabbit - Farmed or Wild?
When I lived in Germany with my grandmother (Oma) for a while one year, she made Hasenpfeffer for me. Her rabbit was a wild rabbit, so it had dark meat, not white like my farmed domestic rabbit is. As a result instead of white wine, she used red - but everything else is done the same as my family (Aunt Cristine aside) has done for years.
I suggest, if you are going to hunt your rabbit yourself, you should probably use red wine for the white as well.
In my video, I called this a "German Wine Braised Rabbit Stew". A couple of people commented that they watched the whole video but I had failed to produce a "stew". In cooking, stewing is sometimes the word we use for a slow-braize.
So full disclosure, there are no vegetables in this "stew" just some great tender rabbit with a tasty tasty gravy
Bugs really doesn't mind if you eat some rabbit, so give this dish a try. If you can't or don't want to use rabbit, make it with chicken. Just be sure to remove the skin from the chicken so you don't have flabby skin to deal with.
I hate flabby skin.
Hasenpfeffer (German-Style Wine Braised Rabbit)
- 1 whole domestic rabbit cut into portions (have your butcher do this if you want)
- 2 ½ cups chopped onion about 2 medium
- 12 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 bay leaves torn if fresh or crumbled if dried
- 10 - 12 whole peppercorns
- 6 - 8 whole cloves
- 1 750 ml bottle dry white wine a Fume Blanc works well here
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 - 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 - 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- Prepare the MarinadeI; n a deep bowl combine the onion, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, and wine. Add the rabbit pieces making sure they are submerged. Cover with plastic wrap, placing a plate on top to keep the rabbit submerged. Refrigerate for at least one full day, two is better.
- Heat the oven to 325°F. Prepare the Hasenpfeffer: Remove the rabbit from the refrigerator and remove the rabbit pieces, scraping off any onion or garlic that is clinging to it. Pat the rabbit dry with paper towels (wet meat doesn't brown). Strain the solids from the wine by pouring through a sieve; saving the marinade and onions separately.
- In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter together until the butter has melted and become frothy. Salt and pepper the rabbit then add to the pot, in batches as necessary. Brown well. (Browning is important. Do not rush this step). Once all the rabbit is browned, lower the heat then add the solids from the marinade (onions and garlic). Cook, stirring frequently until the onions are soft. Stir in the flour and sauté for about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Stir in 1 cup of the marinade and cook until beginning to thicken. Add the rabbit, plus any accumulated juices to the pan, along with about 1 cup of chicken stock. Add marinade and chicken stock in equal portions to cover the rabbit. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Ignore for 1 ½ hours.
- After 1 ½ hours, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the rabbit from the pot. Put the rabbit on a platter and keep warm.
- Strain the sauce to remove all the solids. Bring the sauce to a simmer. If it is not thick enough, make a slurry of 2 teaspoons cornstarch to 1 tablespoon chicken stock. Stir and cook until thickened. Serve rabbit with gravy spooned over.