A couple of days ago I was at the public market or mercado publico buying some fish when I walked by one of my favorite local butchers stall. Unlike the bigger supermarkets in town he gets all of his products fresh & often has items that are from local ranches or farms. (And he has marrow bones 95% of the time. A plus in my book, think Gnawsome Roasted Marrow Bones.) Anyway, right there in the case was a rabbit, all skinned, cleaned & begging to be taken away. Come on, how could I resist. It`s not that common to come across rabbit in my neck of the woods which brings me to todays post. This simple man`s plan to healthier eating comes in the form of Tuscan Hunters Rabbit Stew/ Coniglio alla Cacciatora. It`s pretty true what they say, rabbit`s flavor does resemble that of chicken dark meat in an ever so lightly gamey kind of way but it`s totally delicious. After a bit of braising time with some aromatics & basic veggies the end result was juicy, fall of the bone bunny yumminess. ( I know, some of you might not like that comment but hey, at least I`m not posting for Easter:)
With that let`s get started. Here`s what you`ll need for your Tuscan Hunters Rabbit Stew/ Coniglio alla Cacciatora:
Rabbit- 1 about 3lbs cut into 6-8 pieces
Carrots- 2 peeled & roughly chopped
Celery- 2 ribs roughly chopped
Onion- 1 medium roughly chopped
Red Bell Pepper- 1 roughly chopped
Yellow Bell Pepper- 1 roughly chopped
Mushrooms- 8oz stems removed & quartered
Tomatoes- 1 16oz can peeled & whole
White Wine- 1 cup
Olive Oil- 1/4 cup
Flour- 1/2 cup
Garlic- 4-6 cloves peeled
Crushed Red Pepper- 1/2 Tablespoon
Rosemary- a few sprigs
Thyme- a few sprigs
S & P The players of todays game.To start prep the veggies. This goes quickly because everything is just roughly chopped.Generously salt & pepper your rabbit pieces.Add the flour to a plate or bowl & dredge the rabbit.Both sides please.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over a medium high flame until hot but not quite smoking. Add the dredged rabbit & brown well on both sides. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pot. Once good & browned remove to a plate. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. To the pot add the carrots, celery & onion. Stir & cook for 5-7 minutes or until they start to brown.Add in the wine making sure to scrape the bottom for any of the brown tasty bits. Cook 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.Now in go the tomatoes. Stir & break them up a little.Add in the bell peppers, mushrooms & garlic cloves.Give everything a good stir.Take your browned rabbit & nestle the pieces into the veggie mix. Add in a few sprigs of rosemary & thyme. Cover & bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Place the covered pot into the oven & cook about 1 1/2 hours.You`re ready to serve. I paired this with some basic polenta but rice or pasta would be great too. If you happen to be watching your carbs my Cauliflower Rice would be beautiful. The sauce is so ridiculously good! A nice piece of crusty bread could be epic. Remove the rosemary & thyme.
Enjoy your Tuscan Hunters Rabbit Stew/ Coniglio alla Cacciatora!