Braised Rabbit with Garlic

4.87 from 30 votes
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Braised rabbit with garlic recipe
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I am indebted to the late, great Penelope Casas for this braised rabbit recipe. Casas, who died in 2013, was one of the foremost experts on Spanish food, and her cookbook The Foods and Wines of Spain, remains an invaluable part of my collection. This dish is from that book.

Spain has all kinds of vinegary-meaty wild game dishes, notably their famous escabeche with partridges or pheasants. The theory is that vinegar can offset any sort of gaminess, while at the same time helping to preserve things for a few days; it’s not a bona fide preservation technique, but it will help keep everything nice for a week in the fridge.

It is ridiculously simple.

Rabbit, browned in olive oil, braised with vinegar and lots of garlic and onion, served with some sweet peas right at the end. Everything is in balance, from the zippy sherry vinegar, the warmth of the slow-cooked garlic, the rabbit, which turns luscious after simmering for hours, and even the peas, which really come off as sweet when juxtaposed with everything else in the bowl.

Add good black pepper and you need nothing else — except for maybe a nice white wine.

Chances are you are here looking for a rabbit recipe, but know that you can substitute chicken, turkey, quail, partridge, pheasant, squirrel or grouse here. Basically any white meat.

Once made, this, like many stews will keep for a week in the fridge.

Braised rabbit with garlic recipe
4.87 from 30 votes

Braised Rabbit with Garlic

Either store-bought or wild rabbits will work with this recipe; if you use wild bunnies, I'd suggest cottontails and snowshoe hares. The quality of the vinegar and garlic matter. I use sherry vinegar, and I urge you to use it if possible, but a good cider, white wine or even malt vinegar would be alternates. Home-grown garlic is best, as it will often be less harsh and have larger cloves than regular garlic, but any garlic will work. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 domestic rabbit or snowshoe hare or 2 cottontails, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1/4" pieces from root to tip
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves whole but peeled
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup peas


  • Heat the olive oil in a large, lidded pot like a Dutch oven or, if you have one, an earthenware pot. Brown the rabbit pieces well, salting them as you do. Remove them as they brown and set aside. When the rabbit is browned, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and cook another minute or two.
  • Nestle the rabbit back into the pot, sprinkle some salt over everything and add the vinegar and bay leaf. Pour in enough water to get about halfway up the sides of the rabbit. Cover the pot and cook slowly over low heat for about 2 hours.
  • When the rabbit is tender, add black pepper and mix in the peas. Serve with lots of crusty bread.


Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 203mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 277IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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  1. I love this recipe! I used those English peas you get in the fresh produce section. Also, I couldn’t find sherry vinegar, so I used half sherry and half cider vinegar. It was very good. I made it with a Texas cottontail rabbit.

  2. Wine pairing advice? I threw this on tonight, had to use cider vinegar since didn’t have sherry vinegar in the cabinet.

  3. I’ve been using your recipes ever since I found your fish head soup a few years ago. Now, I don’t throw anything away. From your many venison recipes, to this one last weekend. Snowshoe hares were open until the end of the year and all other tags were filled or expired. We found a couple of the bunnies and although my family was very skeptical, it was fantastic. I did add a few potatoes and no one knew I added them to the recipe. Next year (this year) I will make a serious effort to put a few more of these into the freezer as I am already longing to make this again. Thanks for this great website.

  4. Is there a certain brand name sherry vinegar that you recommend? Something in the $10-$15 range? I have never purchased any and would like to know the one I’m buying is going to not be a detriment to the recipe.

  5. Picked up a ready jointed wild rabbit from my local farm shop. Found this recipe and had to try it. The quantity of garlic did worry me, but it turned out great. I used a slow cooker and left it cooking for 10 hours – the rabbit fell off the bones. I will definitely be cooking this again….. Excellent.

  6. I raise rabbits and cook a lot of it. I made a couple minor changes, but this was the best rabbit I have ever had! I added a couple tablespoons of soy sauce and used whiskey instead of water. When it was done I made a roux (butter and flour) and added that for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. Amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Hank, made this the other night using a boneless, skinless wild turkey breast cut into serving sized pieces. Absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try with rabbit or squirrel.

  8. Hank, do you brine cottontails before cooking in this recipe? Just to let you know, they’ve been on a diet of electrical wires in my cars. ?

  9. Best rabbit I have ever had! Previously I have only ate rabbit fried with yes, dare I say it… white gravy. Learning to bring out the flavor and texture of the meat has made me want to use all my meat more respectfully, rather than an over cooked, over seasoned, and under appreciated, protein. Thank you Hank for another perspective.

  10. I’ll have to try this recipe. I love rabbit as well and was curious if you’d ever tried Jacques Pepin’s recipe for rabbit stewed with prunes. It’s also very simple…and very good.

  11. So…I tried the garlic peeling suggestion above and have to admit was somewhat skeptical of how it would turn out (even though I’ve been a Saveur junkie for years), but holy S%@#, it works! I have five Eastern Grey Squirrels in the freezer waiting for a dinner party I can try this out on. Can’t wait!

  12. Just so everyone is aware. This dish will taste very different if you use snowshoe hare. Snowshoes are much darker and more strongly flavoured than cottontails. Still good. But I’d go heavier on the spices for a snowshoe. They are not nearly as delicate as a cottontail or domestic rabbit.

    1. Scott: Not in my experience. I’ve shot lots of snowshoes and they are a white meat. Maybe you are thinking about white-tailed jackrabbits? They do turn white in winter, and they are indeed a dark, strong meat.