Rabbit in Red Wine Sauce

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Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Stuffat tal Fenek is a national dish from Malta. The mild, tender rabbit meat is infused with rich, hearty flavors from the red wine sauce and spices. A marvelous slow cooked dish enjoyed by Maltese families on Saint Peter and Paul day on June 29. Traditionally served with pasta,  polenta or roasted vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 rabbit, about 2-3 lbs (1  to 1 1/2 kg) cut up into 8 pieces
  • 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 12 fresh sage leaves, washed and dried on kitchen towels
  • 4 Tbsp rosemary leaves, washed and dried on kitchen towels
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Preheat oven to  350°F (180°C).

Add wine, vinegar and brown sugar to a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Season rabbit parts with salt and pepper. Pour flour on a plate and dredge rabbit parts evenly all over. Shake off excess. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté rabbit all over until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer rabbit to a baking dish. Set aside.

 Reduce heat to medium and add garlic to the saucepan and cook until lightly golden. Add wine, vinegar and sugar mix, sage, rosemary, and bay leaf to the skillet. Deglaze the skillet by scraping all the brown bits left in the saucepan. Taste for salt and pepper. Remove from heat and pour it all over the rabbit in the baking dish. Cover it tightly with an aluminum foil. Bake it until tender about 45 minutes. Remove rabbit from baking pan and set aside keeping it warm. Return the red wine sauce to the saucepan to reduce or thicken it a bit if necessary. Serve it with the rabbit.

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