(Lapin a la Gueuze)
We adapted this recipe from one used at 3 Fonteinen in Beersel, Belgium.
- 4 tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 (3 1/2–4-lb.) rabbit, cut into 8 pieces, with liver finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 branches fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 Tbsp. sugar, preferably turbinado
- 2 (750 ml) bottles of Lindemans Cuvée René or other gueuze
- 2 Tbsp. flour
Preheat oven to 350º. Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a medium, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season rabbit with salt and pepper and brown well in batches, 5–8 minutes. Return rabbit and any accumulated juices to pot, add onions, thyme, bay leaf, and sugar, and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add beer and bring to a boil. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and braise until rabbit is cooked through, 35–40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove rabbit from pot and set aside. Boil braising liquid over high heat until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Strain sauce through a sieve, discarding solids, and return to pot over medium heat. Work flour into the remaining 2 tbsp. butter, then stir into sauce, about 1 tsp. at a time, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, 5-8 minutes. Return rabbit to pot, cover, and cook until warmed through. Discard bay leaf and thyme.