Braised Rabbit With Pears
- 2 young rabbits each cut 6 to 8
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 3 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 firm slightly not-quite-ripe pears skin removed, cored and halved
- 3 tablespoons chilled butter
Season rabbit pieces and dust lightly with flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add rabbit pieces and brown each evenly.
Add wine, broth, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, rosemary and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add pears to the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes more.
Remove rabbit and pears and arrange on plates. Remove bay leaves and rosemary from pan. Whisk in butter until melted and spoon sauce over rabbit.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Cooked properly, rabbits are moist, delicate and meaty. You can substitute rabbit for just about any recipe that calls for chicken. As a rule, younger rabbits are better table fare than older ones. I've had the best luck braising cut-up rabbits, usually with some kind of wine. The above recipe is a good example.
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