Braised Rabbit in Red Wine

Filed Under: Buenos Aires
Argentina is a meat lovers' paradise and while the northern plains are obsessed with parillada platters of beef, and the Patagonian and southern states love their mutton and lamb, the farm and field villages of the central states love to braise with red wine, and rabbit is very popular there.


I love finishing a braised dish on the grill for texture and flavor, and the technique allows you to bring in the national condiment (chimichurri) in a big way.


Ingredients

2 rabbits, cut in pieces, seasoned well with salt and pepper

1 bottle good dry red Argentinean wine

1 chopped carrot

1 chopped onion

3 ribs chopped celery

1 bouquets garni of fresh parsley, thyme and oregano

3 garlic cloves

2 tbs. olive oil


Directions

In a large casserole over medium-high heat, brown the rabbit pieces in the oil, in batches if need be. Remove and reserve rabbit, saute the vegetables and herbs until onions are glassy and add rabbit back to pot. Add wine, bring to a slow boil and stir, then cover and cook, turning heat to low, for 90 minutes. Allow rabbit to cool in liquid with lid on for one hour at room temp. Then transfer rabbit to a work bowl, strain broth, pouring over the rabbit pieces and cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate.

Remove rabbit from wine broth, bring broth to a boil over medium heat and reduce to sauce consistency. Allow rabbit to come to room temp while sauce is reducing, and grill or broil to heat through and crisp the rabbit pieces. Serve rabbit, napping the meat with the sauce and passing lots of chimmichuri at the table.


The Chimichurri

Ingredients

1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves

2 fresh bay leaves, chopped

3 tbs. fresh oregano or marjoram leaves

3 ounces EV olive oil

2 tbs. sturdy red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 fresh Serrano chili

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt


Directions

Combine all ingredients except the oil and vinegar in a large mortar/pestle. Add the liquids once the herbs and seasonings are well pureed. Feel free to use a food processor if you must.
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