Hasenpfeffer German Wine Braised Rabbit

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hasenpfeffer german wine braised rabbit

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 it’s 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 different.  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.


My aunt Cristine would say this is not true Hasenpfeffer because it lacks vinegar. I say to each their own – she always was a bit of a rebel

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.





German Wine Braised Rabbit


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.

 I served this with Mustard-Thyme Spaetzle and Steamed Fresh Green Beans.


hasenpfeffer german wine braised rabbit


Hasenpfeffer German Wine Braised Rabbit


  • 1 whole domestic rabbit, cut into portions (have your butcher do this if you want)
  • 2 1/2 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 750ml 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 1/2 cups chicken stock


Step 1

Prepare the Marinade

In 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.

Step 2

Prepare the Hasenpfeffer

Heat the oven to 325°F.

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.

Step 3

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 1/2 hours.

Step 4

After 1 1/2 hours, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the rabbit from the pot. Put the rabbit on a platter and keep warm.

Stain 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.

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Jessica on January 27, 2014

    This sounds like a winner! I’ve never tried Rabbit before, but I am intrigued now!

  2. posted by Cher on January 27, 2014

    Wow! Sounds delicious! I’d really like to try it…

    • posted by LindySez on January 28, 2014

      You should so try it…easy and good. Fall off the bone tender…

      • posted by jack waytz on September 27, 2017

        Nowhere in the recipe does it say the correct oven temp. That would be most helpful! I plan to cook this today, so I’m hoping for a quick turnaround time on your response. Thanks, -Jack

        • posted by LindySez on September 27, 2017

          Did I miss the temperature? In the oven, it would be set about 325ºF. Sorry about that. I’ll double check and make a correction. Cheers ~ Lindy (Hope I’m in time!)

        • posted by LindySez on September 27, 2017

          Jack, it was a coding error…one has to remember to close their brackets 🙂

  3. posted by Elle on January 28, 2014

    You have such inventive recipes Linda…you should be on The Taste on TV.

    • posted by LindySez on January 28, 2014

      Thank you Elle. That’s the one that is just one great bite right? I could do that!

  4. posted by LindySez on March 3, 2014

    Thanks for stopping by Sam…I’m glad you enjoy the recipe and get those skeptics to clean their plate. I’m sure your Lapin Au Vin turned out terrific and I loved your story about not putting eggs in your pockets…been there done that! Cheers ~ Lindy

  5. posted by Barbara Dietrich- Brandt on September 7, 2017

    This is my favorite meal, years ago in the 1970,s there was a restaurant in La Jolla, CA that Oma and Opa used to take the family to and I always ordered Hasenpfeffer. It is so delicious. The restaurant closed and this tradition ended! I look forward to trying your recipe.

    • posted by LindySez on September 7, 2017

      I hope it brings back fond memories. Cheers ~ Lindy


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
  • Fat
    13g (4g Sat, 7g Mono, 1g Poly)
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • See, look at how low fat and low calories rabbit is. Nutritional Information is provided as a guideline and may not be 100% accurate

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