Conejo guisado – a Dominican-style braised rabbit recipe – is certainly not a very common dish on our tables. Just like everywhere else, rabbit remails a once-in-a-blue-moon treat. This recipe has been inspired by my favorite conejo guisado dish, which I tried in Constanza.
Why we ❤️ it
To be perfectly honest, I have only eaten rabbit a handful of times, but my favorite rabbit dish was one I tried in Constanza.
This flavorful dish of slow-cooked rabbit made in the Dominican-style braising is tender, juicy, and just has the exact level of gaminess to make it appetizing even to those who tend to stick to more popular meats. Absolutely worth the try.
What's braised rabbit?
Braised rabbit is a dish made with rabbit pieces, marinated, then browned. Liquid is then added in small amounts to cook it in enough braising liquid to prevent it from scorching, but not enough to boil in it.
To make this braised rabbit you'll need 2 rabbits (about 4 pounds [1.8 kilos] in total), red wine, onions, garlic cloves, fresh thyme, bay leaf, carrots, tomatoes, black pepper, salt, and oil.
Dominicans swear by wine to "tame" the gamey taste in some meats (like goat). You can use cooking wine too.
Quipes and ingredients.
Just like I tried it in Constanza (where I had it with Cepa de apio (arracacha), I served this with a Cepa de apio and yuca mash. You can substitute mashed potatoes for this, or serve with a Moro de habichuelas or Moro de guandules.
Check with your supermarket butcher to see if they have rabbit, at some supermarkets and butchers you can place special orders.
This recipe is perfect to cook other game meats, like Guinea fowls, ducks, and wild turkey.
About this recipe
On a mountain road trip, we saw a wild rabbit and learned from the park rangers that there are wild rabbits roaming the Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo. To be sure, they are pests and an invasive species.
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! It was a very tasty, rich fricasé de conejo in wine sauce that I have tried to recreate here.
Have you tried rabbit? Have you cooked it? Share your experience in the comments!
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Conejo Guisado Recipe (Easy Braised Rabbit)
- 2 small whole rabbits, divided into pieces
- 2½ teaspoons salt, (or more, to taste - divided)
- 1¼ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), (or more, to taste - divided)
- 3 large red onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf, (optional)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, (soy, corn or peanut)
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- Place rabbit meat in a large bowl with a lid. Season with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper.Cover with onions, garlic, bell pepper, and thyme. Add the wine. Close with the lid and marinate for two hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove the rabbit from the container, shaking off the excess liquid. Set aside the marinade mixture.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven. Add the rabbit and cook stirring until it turns golden brown (careful with splatters!).
- Add the bay leaf. Cover with a lid and lower tempearture to medium heat. As the liquid evaporates, add water by the tablespoon, stirring frequently to prevent it from scorching.
- Once the meat is cooked through and tender (approximately 40 minutes), let all the liquid evaporate. Stir in the peppers, onions, and thyme from the marinade (do not add the liquids yet), as well as the carrot and tomatoes. Cook stirring until the onion has become translucent.
- Pour in the cooking wine from the marinade. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.Remove from the heat and serve.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
How long it takes to cook braised rabbit meat will depend on the quality of the meat, it may take 40 to 60 minutes.
Published Aug 27, 2012, revised