Last Updated on September 11, 2020 by YourFoodBuddy
Are you looking for a dish with rustic flavors but with a sweet touch? Today’s recipe is a succulent rabbit stew in a perfect fusion style, it is sweet and lightly spicy. The boozy prunes give sweetness to the dish, the chili flakes add spiciness, while the red wine – sour and soul.
The rabbit stew is a delicious second course with its tender and juicy meat. Combined with a creamy and tantalizing sauce of boozy prunes with rum, give the stew sweet and sour notes that are irresistible even to the most pretentious gourmands. Moreover, the rabbit is slow-cooked, which will turn it into very tender meat. Be ready to intoxicate the whole house with its aromatic scents. I guarantee that those around you will not be able to resist tasting it, even before the stew is ready. Explore new flavors, take the risk to combine ingredients and I guarantee that your taste buds will thank you!
Ingredients for the rustic rabbit stew
Just like the title of the recipe indicates, you will need plenty of rustic-like ingredients. Those that are basic in their essence yet very flavorful and tasty. All of the ingredients can be bought from a local farm, or, in a regular supermarket. The stew will undoubtedly get a more pronounced aroma if made with organic/bioproducts, but unfortunately, not everyone has a farm somewhere around. Moreover, if you are lucky enough to buy a rabbit raised on the farm, you’ll get the superlative version of this dish. I am one of those lucky persons who can buy farm-raised rabbits, so I had about half of a rabbit ready to be converted to a delicious rustic stew. Here are the needed ingredients:
- One whole rabbit or a half
- 2 onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup of dried prunes
- 2 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1 shot of rum or cognac or whiskey
- A few bay leaves
- 5-6 oz bacon
- 1 glass of mature red dry wine
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
Yes, it may seem a lot of ingredients. However, you only need a few or a little of each of them. Moreover, most probably you already have more than half of it in your kitchen. Get all the ingredients and start the cooking process. Oh, and grab a glass of red wine just for yourself, it just makes the best companion while in the kitchen.
How to prepare the boozy prunes for the rabbit stew?
This is the step to start with because it needs to be prepared separately from the rabbit. Take a saucepan and put in the dried prunes, the sugar, and the rum, mix and put in on the stove on low heat. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 2 minutes. Stir while it simmers. Make sure the heat is very low. You don’t want to burn out the juices. The alcohol will evaporate and the prunes will become very soft by soaking in the juices. Turn off the stove and let it sit, you will see you get something very similar to a gem, that is exactly what you need.
How to prepare the rabbit for cooking?
Wash well the rabbit, if it has a lot of fat, you can remove it, or keep it if you don’t mind it. Cut the superior and inferior legs. Then cut the chest into 2 equal parts, then do the same with the ribs. Chop the rabbit in equal parts, so as to have one piece as a serving portion. Pamper with a paper towel to absorb the excess water.
Once you have all the pieces ready, take a plain plate, and pour the flour on it. Now take each of the pieces of the rabbit and flower them well on all sides. Then place on a separate plate or on a cutting board. Now the meat is ready to be taken to the second part of the preparation of the delicious slow-cooked rabbit stew.
How to cook rabbit stew?
Take a large skillet and put in on the stove on the medium heat. Add half a cup of olive oil and let it get to the right temperature, that’ll take about 40 seconds to one minute. Now add the floured pieces of meat to the hot skillet. Turn on the heat to high and let the meat get a beautiful golden crust, then turn sides. It is very important to fry the meat at high temperature as to enclose the juices and the flavors inside. So that later they are released to give a mesmerizing perfume to the stew. While the heat is doing its job to the rabbit, take advantage of the time to wash, peel, and chop the vegetables from the list above.
When the meat has brown on all sides, use kitchen claws to take them out of the skillet. Put it in a bowl and get to sauteeing the vegetables and the bacon in that same oil. Fry everything over a medium-low flame for about 10 minutes. When the vegetables are half-way done, it’s time to unify all the ingredients in one single pot.
One pot- one stew – one love
Therefore, use a pan with a high edge for the next step of the cooking the rabbit stew. Add in the browned rabbit pieces, the vegetable sautee, the glass of red wine, the boozy prunes, remember them? Don’t stop here, pour in the chicken broth, add the chilly flakes along with a pinch of salt, and the bay leaves.
Mix the beautiful rustic combo and put it to slow cook for 2 hours. Stir occasionally and take a sip of the juice halfway through to check on the taste. If you feel there’s something missing, feel free to add, however, I think it will come out perfect without any adjustments along the way. At least, that’s how it worked for me.
How to serve the rabbit stew?
Serve the pieces of rabbit in serving dishes. Never miss pouring over the rabbit some of the cooking sauce and the prunes which, in addition to having impregnated the meat with their aroma during cooking, also gave a deliciously sweet note to the dish. Accompany the stew with simple loaves of fresh bread, some boiled rice, or baked potatoes. If you’d like to take this dish to another rustic level, serve it with some pickles or marinated cherry tomatoes.
The rabbit stew is one of the old-fashioned, old-school recipes that perfectly fits on family gathering tables as well as on Sunday meetings with friends. Enjoy every bite of it!
Rustic Rabbit Stew with Boozy Prunes & Vegetables
- 1 whole rabbit
- 2 medium onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 cup prunes dried
- 1 shot rum
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 5-6 oz bacon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-3 leaves bay
How to prepare the boozy prunes
- Mix the prunes with brown sugar and rum in a saucepan
- Put to boil on low heat
- Simmer for 2 minutes and stir occasionally
- Let sit for the prunes to soak in all the juices
How to prepare the rabbit
- Wash well the rabbit and take out the excess fat where needed
- Pamper with paper towels
- Chop in equal pieces, so as to have 1 piece as a serving portion
- Pamper again all pieces using paper towels
- Pour the flour on a plain plate and press all the pieces of meat into the flour on all sides
- Put the floured chops of rabbit on a clean plate
How to cook the rabbit stew?
- Put the olive oil to heat in a large skillet over medium flame
- Brown the rabbit chops on all sides, set aside for later
- In the meantime, peel, wash and chop all the vegetables and slice the bacon
- Use the same skillet and frying oil to saute the vegetables and the bacon
- Saute the vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes
- Take a high wall pot and transfer the browned rabbit pieces, the veggies, the wine, the boozy prunes, along with the chicken stock and spices
- Put everything to boil over medium-low heat, cover with a lit
- Let simmer for 2 hours, stir occasionally
- Serve alone or with boiled rice or roasted potatoes