Pairs Well With
2 rabbits cut into pieces, like one would cut up a chicken
1 bottle dry white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc
6 to 8 shallots, sliced thinly (or 2 sweet red onions)
1 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)
1½ teaspoons ground pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 tablespoons capers
½ pint Castelvetrano pitted green olives
4 tablespoons peanut oil, or more if needed
3 cups water (approximately)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Place pieces of rabbit in large marinating container – a nonreactive pan, glass bowl or dish, or use a heavy-duty plastic bag and place bag in hard-sided container, such as a 13x9-inch glass cake pan, as bones may puncture bag.
Combine bottle of wine, thinly sliced shallots and thyme in marinating container/bag with rabbit. Marinate overnight.
After marinating, remove rabbit from container, preserving all marinade ingredients. Place rabbit on plate and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 275°.
Strain rabbit marinade, separating and reserving the liquid from the shallots and herbs. Set aside both items.
Heat a braising pan; add oil to pan and heat almost to smoking. Add rabbit to pan to brown, making sure to leave space between pieces. (Note: Rabbit is wet from marinade, so putting wet rabbit into a hot pan with oil will cause splatters. Be careful and cautious of splattering oil.) Remove rabbit pieces after browning and place on a platter.
When finished browning all of the rabbit pieces, add shallots and herbs to pan. Deglaze the pan using some of the liquid marinade. Cook the shallots and herbs until the shallots are tender. Keep enough liquid in pan to keep shallots from browning. When shallots and herbs are tender, add rabbit pieces to the pan and cover with the remaining marinade. Add more wine (from a second bottle) or add water to almost cover rabbit, shallots and herbs in pan. Add olives and capers.
Put lid on braising pan and place in 275°F oven (low and slow). Braise for 1 to 2 hours until rabbit is fall-apart tender. Remove rabbit from pan. Strain remaining items from pan, separating olives. Bring liquid to boil in pan and reduce liquid to your taste.
Make a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. Add slurry to liquid in pan and cook to your desired thickness. Add green olives back into dish. Serve rabbit – in pieces or remove meat from bone – over mashed potatoes with pan sauce and olives.
Merry’s friend Teresa Tachovsky devised this recipe to pair with our 2015 Meredith Estate Pinot Noir. The tender rabbit, herbaceous pan juices and briny olives marry beautifully with the aromatic spiciness of the Meredith.