As I mention on the Button Soup rabbit page, my first taste of rabbit was in Greece. Rabbit plays a fairly important role in traditional Greek cooking. A stew called stifadho, which is practically the national dish of Hellas, was until recently most often made with rabbit and pearl onions. Rabbit meat appears in several other dishes, often paired with fruit, especially dried currants and prunes.
One of our favourite restaurants in Greece was Portes, in Hania, Crete. “Portes” means “doors”, and the stone walk approaching the taverna is lined with brightly painted wooden doors, leaning against an adjacent fence. After our meal, the bill came with a recipe for rabbit stew with prunes printed on a souvenir bookmark. Lisa and I have been talking about cooking rabbit ever since then, and this week, with Greek food on the brain, we finally did it.
Rabbit Stew with Prunes
adapted from a recipe by Susanna Koutoulaki of Portes restaurant, Hania, Crete
- 1 rabbit, cut in pieces
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 400mL white wine
- 1 bowl prunes
- 2 tbsp of brandy (Metaxa would be appropriate…)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- Soak the prunes in water.
- Brown the rabbit pieces in oil. Remove from pan.
- Sweat onions, garlic, and paprika in the same pan.
- Deglaze with brandy and wine. Cook off alcohol.
- Return rabbit to pan. Add bay leaves and prunes, with their soaking water.
- Cover and simmer until rabbit is tender, at least an hour.
- Serve on rice.