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Chimay was a nice touch! A must do recipe for rabbit chef
I can’t believe it! I can barely cook toast, but this recipe turned out perfect. My finicky husband and my 4 1/2 year-old both asked for seconds . Win! Will definitely do this one again. Super happy! thank you much
Yay! I’m so glad you and your family liked it Mellisa!
Salt early and taste constantly. Just started reading Judy Rodgers’s book, and am thoroughly enjoying it. Wish I’d met her.
Anyway, made this recipe as written and it was great. Used Chimay Grande Réserve and quickly drank the remainder of the bottle. Cuts down on greenhouse gases, you know. I’m very conscientious that way.
If, at the end, you wind up as I did, with many of the celery root cubes being woody, putting the sauce through a potato ricer will rescue it. Consistency will obviously be altered, but it’s better than serving straw cubes. The error was mine, for not trimming the roots down far enough, not a fault of the recipe.
I want to try this dish with a whole rabbit split down the middle. Do you need to do it in pieces? Or can I keep the rabbit more intact? Will keeping it intact change the cooking times?
Hi Mikem, I haven’t made this with a whole split rabbit, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Cooking time might be a few minutes longer.
Hi there! I followed this recipe exactly for our New Year’s Eve dinner. It was my first time cooking rabbit and it turned out beautifully. My family loved it. We served it with a fresh salad, hot french bread, buttery green beans and crispy roasted potatoes. With the leftovers the next day I made tomato chutney, avocado and rabbit sandwiches, and my family agreed that the rabbit was even more delicious the next day. Thanks also for the helpful butchering tips, our rabbit was whole when we received it.
Hi Mariya, I’m so glad you liked it!
Cooked it today with fine green beans and a nice pilaf as side dishes. Used carrots instead of celery root. Absolutely delicious – even my sons, aged 9 and 12, loved it. For the adults, perfect with a cold Chimay Bleue!
I used hard cider and carrots as that’s what I had in the fridge. Came out great! Thank you!
Made this last night using an Ommegang Witte. I added mushrooms, capers and herbes du provence. Served over quinoa. Relatively easy dish and absolutely delicious!
Sounds fabulous Andrea!
This recipe worked out phenomenally well. So much flavor to develop in such a short time!
The only ingredient change for me was the addition of some espelette pepper powder to punch it up a bit – though it would have been just as delicious without. I also opted to remove the loins and flap meat from the ribs entirely – I found it easier to brown the pieces that way.
We tried this for Christmas dinner and it turned out great! As an fyi, we subbed bacon drippings for the oil and mushrooms for the celery root – delish! thanks very much for your help.
I made your Rabbit Braised in Ale (didn’t have Belgian) and it was fantastic !
I followed your great instructions to the “T” and wouldn’t substitute anything in that sauce. However, I did incorporate egg noodles and 1 Cup of frozen peas at the very end – just to warm with the rabbit pieces and it turned out perfectly. My husband and I enjoyed this right out of the pan, in front of the fire.
We will definitely treasure this recipe.
Thanks for a great date night !
I received the recipe in my email last week and decided it was perfect to make it for a couple of friends – very good cooks both of them – that were visiting us. Kind of a challenge…What a great success!! The sauce is out of this world…. Everybody loved it! My wife and I are not very fond of celery root so we used carrots, added well late in the cooking process to avoid overcooking. However I think you can use potatoes, mushrooms and would be great as well. Used Chimay beer (blue). Rice pilaf and green salad with pomegranate as sides. Fantastic recipe and amazing flavor. Next time I will try with chicken though, rabbits are getting expensive in Texas (I do not why since there are plenty of them…..). Thanks Elise.!!
You should have put your friends names (at least mine / Horacio). The rabbit really turn out great. In fact, I´m doing it today (jan, 24th 2014) with a Destilo beer (a local beer) and I hope it will be as good as yours.
Till the next rabbit or chicken or whatever you cook next time.
This looks great! Want to use for a dinner party. Will do a chicken so I can feed more people. Should I just increase infredients according to the size of the chicken (total pounds)? How much should I increase cooking time?
Why do you salt the rabbit first and let it sit for so long? Won’t this just draw moisture out and dry an already very lean meat?
Great question! Chef says this best in her seminal Zuni Cafe Cookbook, “Initially, salt does draw moisture from cells – whence the widely accepted belief that it dries food out. However, the quiet trauma of osmosis is temporary. With time, the cells reabsorb moisture in reverse osmosis. When they do, that moisture is seasoned with salt…. What is more, that intruder salt changes the proteins ~ they “open up,” enabling them to entrap more moisture than before.” She has more to say on the subject, but the bottom line is that if you salt early, the result will be better.
Instead of flour, try the Belgian trick: spread the mustard on a slice of bread and place on top (mustard side down).
Another variation: replace the celery with prunes and mushrooms for a sweeter variety. It will also color the rabbit very nicely. Serve with green beans and potato croquettes.
Do you think this would work with a hard cider instead of the ale? It seems like it would but I have never cooked with rabbit.
Rabbit tastes very similar to chicken, so if a recipe works with chicken, it will likely work with rabbit. Have you cooked chicken with hard cider? For this rabbit recipe I think it would work. I would just make sure to really boil off the alcohol.
Back when I used to eat meat I tried rabbit a couple of times and quite enjoyed it. I had it at Bouchon Bakery in Napa and remember it like it was yesterday. Rabbit boudin blanc with a crispy rabbit cake of sorts, with fresh pluots from the garden across the street.
Could you swap the rabbit with a chicken without changing too much else in the recipe?
Yes, you could easily swap the rabbit for chicken. Skin on.