Rabbit Braised in Red Wine (Coniglio al Vino Rosso)

Rabbit Braised in Red Wine
Rabbit Braised in Red Wine
Joseph De Leo

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.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle of red wine
  • 14 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 14 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 (2–3-lb.) rabbit, cut into 8 pieces (see Easy Pieces)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 cup flour
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 16 sage leaves
  • 6 sprigs rosemary

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. In a bowl, whisk together wine, vinegar, and sugar; set red wine mixture aside.
  2. Season rabbit with salt and pepper to taste. Put flour on a plate. Dredge rabbit in flour; shake off excess.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook rabbit, turning once, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes per side.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.