Rabbit Stew

One-pot meals like this—made on Crete with both domesticated rabbit and wild hare—are basic to the island's cuisine.

Rabbit Stew
One-pot meals like this—made on Crete with both domesticated rabbit and wild hare—are basic to the island's cuisine.
Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 (3-lb.) whole rabbits
  • 2 cups Cretan rosé, or other dry rosé
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 6-10 allspice berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 lb. small white onions, peeled
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange, washed and halved

Instructions

  1. Ask your butcher to cut up the rabbits for you, or follow these instructions: Lay each rabbit on its back, remove liver, and set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut off hind legs at the joint near the backbone, then cut hind legs in half at the joint. Cut under the shoulder blades to remove forelegs from the rib cage. Trim off rib cage on either side of loin and discard. Cut loin crosswise (through backbone) into 3-4 pieces. Put rabbit, livers, wine, garlic, peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cover and set aside to marinate for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Transfer rabbit pieces and livers to a large ceramic baking dish. Strain marinade, discarding liquid, and scatter remaining aromatics into the baking dish. Arrange onions and tomatoes around rabbit, then drizzle oil over the top and season to taste with salt and pepper. Squeeze orange halves over rabbit and vegetables, then add squeezed halves to the baking dish. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue baking until rabbit has browned and sauce has thickened, about 1 hour more.