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Braised Rabbit in Wine with Golden Raisins

Braised Rabbit in Wine with Golden RaisinsRecipe courtesy of California Raisin Marketing Board.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 medium rabbits (about 2 1/2 pounds each), cut into 6 pieces each
1 (750 ml) bottle Irouleguy or other dry red wine
1 small bouquet garni
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - divided use
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup California golden raisins
3 cups veal or chicken stock
1/3 cup unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, stems removed
1 cup fava beans, shelled and cooked
4 fingerling potatoes, roasted and split in half
2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Rabbit: Arrange rabbit pieces in a wide dish or glass bowl and add red wine to cover. Add bouquet garni, garlic, black peppercorns, onion, carrot, 2 tablespoons olive oil, celery stalk and California golden raisins. Swish rabbit around in marinade until well coated. Cover loosely and place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Remove rabbit from marinade. Separate center loin meat from front and hindquarters and set aside. (The center part of the rabbit cooks much faster so it requires less cooking time.)
  3. Turn marinade, fore and hindquarters (not center loin meat) into large saucepan over high heat. Add veal or chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add center loin pieces and continue to simmer 30 minutes more, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  5. Remove and discard bouquet garni. Strain sauce through fine sieve into large skillet. Separate and reserve raisins; discard remaining vegetables. Add rabbit pieces and golden raisins to skillet with sauce and warm over medium heat. Swirl in 1/3 cup butter until thoroughly incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. For Garnish: Warm remaining olive oil in medium sauté pan over high heat. Add tomatoes, fava beans, fingerling potatoes and parsley. Sauté until heated through.
  7. To Assemble Family Style: Place rabbit meat, sauce, and all in center of large, deep serving platter. Garnish with sautéed vegetables and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of California Raisin Marketing Board.