Rabbit a la cazadora, or hunter's style rabbit, is a common dish in the Castilla y León region of Spain. However, the original name of the dish is actually Italian, coniglio alla cacciatora, and there are even French origins of the dish as well (called chasseur). In other words, this flavorful recipe is a result of multiple cultures and cuisines that have come together to create one spectacular dish.
What are the benefits of rabbit meat?
While rabbit is not widely consumed in the U.S. like beef or chicken, it's common in Spain and is well-known for being an especially healthy protein.
Rabbit is a white meat with a relatively mild flavor that can be adapted to all sorts of cooking methods and ingredients. It's also especially lean, low in carbohydrates, and super high in protein. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it's a great meat to incorporate into your diet.
How to Prepare Rabbit a la Cazadora
One of the secrets of the Spanish kitchen is the majado. Mashing up garlic with salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle, and rubbing the mixture all over the meat, not only adds flavor but helps soften the fibers of the rabbit. Even 2 hours marinating will do the trick, but if you can leave it overnight you'll get even better results.
- 1 rabbit, butchered into its individual cuts
- 1 tomato, grated
- 7 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 4 cloves garlic
- Sweet paprika
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- First, you want to prepare what's called the majado. To do so, put the pepper, salt, and garlic in a mortar and pestle and mash until you have a homogenous paste.
- Place the rabbit in a large bowl and add the majado mixture, rubbing into the meat to so it can absorb all the flavors.
- Cover the bowl and let the rabbit rest for a few hours, or place in the fridge and let marinate overnight.
- Once you're ready to cook, add a drizzle of olive oil to a large pan and brown the rabbit pieces. Once browned on all sides, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and mix in the onions, carrots, and mushrooms.
- Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes and sprinkle in the paprika and tomato. Cook for a few minutes and let the sauce reduce a bit.
- Add the rabbit back into the pan along with the white wine.
- Taste for salt, cover the pan with a lid, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the meat is soft and tender.
- Let the dish rest for a few minutes and then serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley. ¡Buen provecho!
Tips to Prepare the Best Hunter's Style Rabbit
- When you add the wine, you want to make sure the liquid covers the rabbit meat so it doesn't dry out. If not, add a little extra water to the pot until fully covered.
- For extra fat and smokiness, you can also add bacon to the stew while it cooks.
- If you can't find rabbit, this recipe also works well with chicken.