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Rabbit in Black Olive Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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Earthy, robust olives, balsamic vinegar, and tomato blend to creat a luscious sauce for this richly satisfying dish. And it’s an easy dinner to serve guests, since the sauce can be prepared ahead of time, while the rabbit is marinating—all you have to remember is to baste frequently while it’s baking.

2 to 4 portions

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationmain course

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, salty, savory, sharp, tangy, tart

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 rabbit (about 2¾ pounds), cut into 8 or 10 pieces, well rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup homemade beef stock or canned broth
  • ½ cup Gaeta or other small black Italian olives, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Instructions

Combine the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large bowl. Stir well, then add the rabbit pieces and turn to coat them well. Cover loosely, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Combine the beef stock and pitted olives in a food processor or blender, and puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the vinegar and tomato paste, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Sauté the rabbit over medium heat, turning it once or twice, until golden, 10 minutes.

Pour the olive sauce over the rabbit, and heat it to a simmer. Then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 1 hour, turning and basting the rabbit pieces every 10 minutes. Serve hot.

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