Braised rabbit in white wine sauce

Braised rabbit in white wine sauce

Some weeks ago I wrote about our trip to Constanza a few weeks back, and some time before that I wrote of my memories of that beautiful region of the country. There was so much to see, so much to do in the three days that we were there, that I can’t help but try and convince you to go see for yourself.

One of the things that I learned from this trip is that I should trust my husband’s eyesight better than mine. But not his sense of taste.

Constanza - Salto aguas blancas

One of the sites everybody recommended was the Aguas Blancas waterfall. Sure it is not the most impressive waterfall in the country, but it seems to be the most “untouched”. There seems to be a simple explanation for this: the “road” is hair-raising. It starts well enough for an unpaved road, enough to make you think this is just going to be another day trip. But soon – between the narrow road with a mountain on one side and a steep fall on the other –  we felt like we were in a Top Gear episode, recreating one of the wacky trio’s insane trips.

Or perhaps we are older, wiser, and have a kid, and thus have a sense of responsibility and preservation that we lacked in our old days of adventures. Having made it in one piece, we are glad we took the trip. And gladder to be back home.

Constanza - Salto aguas blancas

In the opposite direction we went to see The Pyramid, the geographical center of our country, somewhere in the middle of a national park. The cold wind, pine tree forest, and wild flowers transported us to another place. It was like we were dropped in summertime Scandinavia. The road is pretty good (unpaved though), the premises spotless and very well-maintained, the park rangers were very friendly (we wondered if they were not just very happy to have some company other than each other in such an isolated spot).

They regaled us with tales of unusually cold winters in which a bucket and mop left outside turned into a popsicle of sorts. And told us campsite stories of somebody once dying of exposure, a distinct possibility in those mountains if you find yourself unprepared in minus-zero temperatures and howling winds.

We took pictures of each other standing in the middle of the pyramid, which forms a cross pointing to the four cardinal points.

Constanza - Salto aguas blancas

On the way back, a small sign and a humble monument mark the site of one of the most important moments in 20th century Dominican history. The spot where Col. Camaño was assassinated. To get there one must walk through a field of wild flowers, it was a very surreal experience.

And on the way back we found a wild rabbit. Well, my husband did, I didn’t see it and I could not believe there were wild rabbits in our country.

I was wrong.

Braised rabbit in white wine sauce

The two park rangers – that we ended up giving a ride back to town after their motorcycle broke down – were the perfect guides through the mountains. And they generously repaid the favor by educating us about the fauna and flora. It so happens there are wild rabbits in the mountains (and boars). The rabbits had escaped a farm decades before, and did what rabbits do. Lacking a predator, and hunting being illegal, there were a lot of rabbits in those mountains.

Once we made it back to town, hungry and cold, we headed straight for the restaurant, where we found… why yes, rabbit was on the menu! I convinced my husband to order it (I generally don’t eat meat), he wasn’t enthusiastic at all. He’s not a fan of eating small furry things. It turns out that it was very good, specially served with mashed potatoes grown in the area. I decided I had to take a bite, as I was intent on recreating the recipe for my readers. Yep, it was good.

Braised rabbit in white wine sauce

As luck had it, the supermarket had rabbit. And I had a bottle of white cooking wine (courtesy of our sponsor Holland House) that I had yet to try. A match made in heaven.

My in-laws were here by then, and my father in law, a restauranteur, chef and avid hunter totally approved.

Aunt Clara
Braised rabbit in white wine sauce
 
Rich and unusual, this braised rabbit with white wine sauce dish, inspired in our trip to Constanza will impress those at your table.
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 rabbits, divided into pieces
  • 3 large red onions, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 3 cups of Holland House White Cooking Wine
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1½ tablespoon of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Place a rabbit in a container with lid. Season with a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper.
  2. Cover with onions, bell pepper and thyme. Add the wine. Close with the lid and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the rabbit from the container, shaking off the excess liquid. Reserve the marinade.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pot. Add the rabbit and brown (careful with splatters!).
  5. Cover with a lid. As the liquid evaporates, stir frequently, adding water by the tablespoon.
  6. Once the meat is cooked through (it should be quite tender), let the liquid evaporate. Brown again.
  7. Add the peppers, onions and thyme from the marinade. Cook over very low heat until the onion has become transparent.
  8. Add the flour and stir well, in order for the flour to cook throughout without burning.
  9. Add the cooking wine from the marinade and stir vigorously until it has mixed with the flour.
  10. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Holland House Cooking WinesThis recipe and post is sponsored by Holland House cooking wines. I have received products and compensation to create this recipe.

Holland House  offers several premium cooking wines and wine vinegars made with premium ingredients, which are perfect for enhancing the flavor of your dishes with robust flavors and aromas. Before the summer is over check out the Holland House labels for free brining recipes.

The opinions are 100% mine and have not been revised nor altered by the sponsor.

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jessica Miranda de Rodriguez October 7, 2014, 7:17 PM

    Can you give me the cooking times please! I am not very good with specific instructions! by the way I am in SDQ!

  • El Oso con Botas August 28, 2012, 2:58 AM

    It’s really a succulent dish. The garnish could’t be better that tha lovely mash potatos, I just can imagen wetting a fork full of mash potatos with that luscious sauce. Rabbit has a very nice flavor and gives to sauces lots of flavor. Thanks for sharing your trip around your country and glad to hear your it was a succesful dish for your father in law.

    • Aunt Clara August 28, 2012, 8:10 AM

      Yep, thick, flavorful sauce and mashed potatoes is a match made in heaven.

  • Suzanne Perazzini August 27, 2012, 9:31 PM

    Our country is over-ridden with rabbits and while we do eat rabbit, it’s not as common and you would think. That waterfall photo is gorgeous.
    Suzanne
    Suzanne Perazzini recently posted..Stuffed Focaccia – Jamie Oliver 30 minute mealMy Profile

    • Aunt Clara August 27, 2012, 9:41 PM

      Well, then, do something for the environment. Chicken will appreciate it. :)

  • Charlie Sommers August 27, 2012, 6:21 PM

    Years ago, back in my hippy days, I lived on a farm in rural Tennessee and raised almost all of my family’s food myself. I discovered that by using corn and alfalfa hay as their food I could raise rabbits for an outlay of only about 15 cents per pound , final cost for the meat. What I hadn’t figured on was the reluctance of my wife and kids to partake of this inexpensive bounty.

    I ended up having to eat about 70 bunnies alone, well I did have some help from a few carnivorous friends. Rabbit has been a lifelong favorite of mine and I shall try your recipe soon. Thanks for posting.

    • Aunt Clara August 27, 2012, 6:39 PM

      Haha! That’s a funny story. Did it make you feel like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction?

      Yeah, some people have qualms about eating cute furry things. We hid the provenance of this meat from our daughter. For somebody who grew up eating game, my husband can be very picky about his meat. He is not bothered by its cuteness, he just doesn’t like meat with small bones. Go figure.