Braised baron of rabbit


  • 1 whole rabbit (2 1/2 to 3 pounds
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour, for dusting
  • 2 cups onions, finely diced
  • 2 cups leeks, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled dry porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water to soften, drained and finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini or portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes, or home-preserved, if possible
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth


    step 1

    Cut the rabbit into 9 pieces (or ask your butcher to) as follows: with a sharp cleaver, cut the saddle (center portion) into 3 pieces, leaving the kidneys attached. Cut the front portion (front legs) in half through the backbone. Chop each hind leg into 2 pieces. Reserve the liver and heart to sauté as a snack.

    step 2

    Heat .25 inch of olive oil in a Dutch oven or deep, wide heavy skillet over medium heat. Season the rabbit pieces with salt and pepper, then dust lightly with flour. Lightly brown the rabbit for about 3 minutes on both sides, working in batches. Drain on kitchen towels, then transfer to a baking dish in one layer. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

    step 3

    Pour off the used oil, wipe out the pan and add 2 tablespoons fresh oil. Heat to medium-high, add the onions and cook till soft, about 5 minutes. Add the leek, garlic, rosemary and mushrooms. Season generously with salt and pepper, and add red pepper flakes to taste. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring.

    step 4

    Add the chopped tomatoes and wine, and let the mixture reduce for 1 minute. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, taste and adjust seasonings.

    step 4

    Ladle the mixture evenly over the rabbit. Cover the dish, and bake for 1 hour. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.