Rabbit Emilia-Romagna style
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- 1 Rabbit (adult animal)
- 75 grams (3 oz) Lard
- 50 grams (2 oz) Butter
- 2 Onions (medium size – thinly sliced)
- 1 Celery stalk (thinly sliced)
- 1 Clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- 100 grams Tomato passata
- A small bunch of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 100 ml (4 fl oz) White wine
- 60 ml (2 fl oz) White wine vinegar
- 250 ml (1/2 Pint) Chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper for seasoning
- First of all, cut the rabbit into pieces. You should be able to cut the front and back legs without crunching any bones. Split bones are a nightmare when cooking rabbit, so try to cut the animal neatly. Keep the kidneys, liver and heart because these are the best parts to eat.
- Put the rabbit cuts into a large bowl filled with cold water. Add the vinegar into the water, then cover with cling film and refrigerate for one hour or so.
- At the same time, put kidneys, liver and heart into a small container and refrigerate.
- After about an hour, take the bowl out of the fridge, discard the water, rinse the rabbit cuts and finally pat them dry.
- Take a large sauté pan and start melting the lard together with the butter. At this stage, cook on a medium-high heat.
- When the fats start sizzling, add the onion and the celery into the pan (both thinly sliced).
- Sauté for 3-4 minutes, to give some colour.
- Add the rabbit cuts into the pan.
- Cook each side of the cuts for few minutes.
- Here, I am cooking the second side.
- Then, when both sides have achieved some colour, add the wine into the pan.
- A couple of minuets after the wine, add the tomato passata into the pan.
- Stir, so that the tomato passata is evenly distributed around the pan.
- Then, add only half of the stock available. Technically speaking you should not need any more stock; however if something goes wrong and you think that the pan content is getting too dry or slightly burnt, you still have some extra stock left.
- Season with salt.
- Season with black pepper.
- Turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for about 1 hour, turning the rabbit cuts every 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and garlic together.
- After the rabbit cuts have been cooking on low heat for 1 hour, add the parsley and garlic mix. Give the whole thing a good stir and continue cooking for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Once the 10 minutes have passed, add the kidneys, liver and heart into the pan. These need only 10 minutes to cook and you can do so without lid, so that we start to reduce the sauce to a thicker consistency.
- This is what you should get after about 90 minutes cooking.
- Plate the rabbit and serve. As I said, ideally I would serve this dish with polenta and, of course, a large glass of robust red wine.