A 19th century recipe for rabbit stew is widely (but questionably) reported to have begun with the phrase, “First, catch a hare.”
As practical that that advice may sound, we opt for farm-raised rabbit. Rabbit can be found at specialty butcher shops, like Clancey’s Meat and Fish in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, where we purchased ours.
Although rabbit is relatively rare in North America, it is a common dish in across western Europe, as well as in South America, and in parts of the Middle East and Asia. Rabbit meat is lean, fine grained and high in protein, making it a healthy and versatile white meat.
Cooked on the stovetop with white wine and rosemary and usually served with roasted potatoes, rabbit was a common Sunday afternoon dish at Stefano’s mom’s house in Italy.
Cut the rabbit into pieces with a large butcher knife.
If you like a creamier texture, place the flour into a shallow bowl and dust each piece of rabbit in flour on all sides. However, you can omit the flour if you wish. We like rabbit both ways.
Mince the garlic and sauté it in the oil in a large pan until golden brown. Add the white wine and white wine vinegar, and allow the mixture to continue to simmer on medium heat. Carefully arrange the rabbit in the skillet.
Add rosemary leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. If you like white meats with a little heat, add a little crushed red pepper. Cover, and cook over medium heat, turning on occasion, for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve with vegetables or roasted potatoes.
We drank a 2009 Pinot Grigio from Alois Lageder with our rabbit. It is a medium-bodied, well-balanced pinot grigio with a nice floral bouquet. It pairs very well with white meat. Alois Lageder is a producer from the Alto Adige region, located in the Dolomites in northeast Italy.