German Rabbit Stew

German Rabbit Stew

Growing up in the suburbs of New York City rabbit was never on the menu. I always wanted to try it but never got around to it until moving to Hungary where, come winter-time it could be easily found in the markets. My first try provided good results but didn’t wow me so was only cooked once a year or so. Last week while shopping in Lidl, a whole rabbit presented itself like a present waiting to be opened. Not really having a go-to recipe I found this one from Hank Shaw that sounded fantastic….and it was.


  • 1.5 kg whole rabbit cut into serving pieces
  • 100g chopped bacon
  • Salt
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 30 g tablespoons flour
  • 250 to 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 onion chopped
  • Zest of a lemon white pith removed, cut into wide strips
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 30g capers (more or less to taste)
  • 120ml sour cream
  • White wine to taste, at least 200ml
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley for garnish


  1. Salt the rabbit pieces well and set aside for 10 minutes or so. Set a Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded pot over medium-high heat. Heat bacon until browned then remove, leaving rendered 
  2. fat; careful not to burn. 
    Pat the rabbit pieces dry and brown well on all sides. You may need to do this in batches, so don’t crowd the pot and don’t rush things. Remove the rabbit pieces once they’re browned. This may take 15 minutes or so.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, then the chopped onion and cook until the edges just begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir well. Cook, stirring often, until the flour turns golden, about 5 minutes. Slowly add some of the liquid, scrapping brown bits from bottom
  4. Return the rabbit to the pot and add enough chicken stock and wine to cover. Add the lemon zest, bay leaves and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook gently until the rabbit wants to fall off the bone, which will take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours.
  5. This is an optional step, but I prefer it: Turn off the heat, remove rabbit pieces and let the cool on a baking sheet. Pull all the meat off the bones and return the meat to the stew.
  6. Allow stew to sit overnight before eating (if you can). Heat portions on low heat till hot then add sour cream, capers, and wine to taste.
  7. Best served over spaetzle (easier to make than I thought but messy) or buttered noodles.


Posted with permission of Hank Shaw; Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook.