Rabbit, a lean game meat that has fallen out of favor in this country in recent decades, is making a comeback; it's now easy to find at many groceries and farmers' markets.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food
Rabbit Braised in Red Wine
The hearty flavor of this lean, game meat is showcased in this simple recipe; the preparation is similar to coq au vin.
1 (750-ml) bottle of red wine
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
2 1⁄4 tbsp. sugar
1 (2–3-lb.) rabbit, cut into 8 pieces (see Easy Pieces)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1⁄4 cup flour
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
16 cloves garlic, crushed
16 sage leaves
6 sprigs rosemary
Heat oven to 350°. In a bowl, whisk together wine, vinegar, and sugar; set red wine mixture aside.
Season rabbit with salt and pepper to taste. Put flour on a plate. Dredge rabbit in flour; shake off excess.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook rabbit, turning once, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes per side.
Transfer rabbit to a deep 9" x 13" baking dish. Add garlic to the skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Pour wine mixture into skillet; boil and scrape up browned bits with a spoon; pour sauce over rabbit.
Scatter sage and rosemary over top. Cover with foil and transfer to oven; braise until tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to 450°, and continue cooking, basting rabbit until sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread or atop wide egg noodles.