Braised Rabbit with Salmorejo Sauce (Conejo en Salmorejo)

  • Serves

    serves 4

  • Cook

    10 hours


By Katie Button

Published on February 2, 2016

Smoky Spanish paprika adds deep flavor to this braise from Chef Katie Button of Cúrate and Nightbell, matching perfectly with gamey, succulent rabbit.


  • 14 cup kosher salt, plus more
  • 14 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 7 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 (3-lb.) whole rabbit, broken down into 4 legs and 2 loins on the bone (have your butcher do this)
  • 1 12 cups white wine
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 dried New Mexican chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

In a small saucepan, combine the 1⁄4 cup salt with the brown sugar, peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in 2 cups cold water, and let cool. Pour the brine into a large zip-top plastic bag, add the rabbit pieces, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Heat the oven to 350°. In a blender, blend the 5 remaining garlic cloves and bay leaf with the wine, vinegar, pimentón, cumin, chile, and 2 1⁄2 cups water until smooth. Drain the rabbit pieces, pat dry with paper towels, and discard the brine.

Step 3

In an 8-qt. saucepan, heat the olive oil over high. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper, add to the pan, and cook, turning once, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Pour in the blended wine and spices and bring to a boil. Cover, place in the oven, and cook until the rabbit is tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours. Transfer the pan to a rack, lift the rabbit from the pan, and transfer it to a serving platter.

Step 4

Place the pan over high heat and boil the braising liquid until reduced to 3⁄4 cup, about 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the rabbit and serve while hot.

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