Braised rabbit in beer is a popular dish in Belgium. The meat of farmed rabbit is lean and tender with a delicate flavour, reminiscent of chicken meat. Wild rabbit has a particular gamey flavour and tougher meat. All in all, rabbit meat can be dry, and that’s why stewing and braising it in rich, flavourful liquids is most appropriate.
We follow the traditional recipe of Ilse’s mom who usually pours one of the famous Belgian trappist beers into the stew, but any other dark brown beer will make your recipe tasty. If you can get Belgian beers, try it with Chimay red, Leffe brown, Kasteel beer, Rodenach, just to name a few.
The bread with mustard adds flavour, but also works as a thickening agent for the sauce. The bread will dissolve into the sauce during the cooking time.
To keep it traditional, the rabbit is often served with boiled potatoes and apple mash. It also pairs well with prunes and even fresh pasta will work.
Braised Rabbit in Belgian Beer
- Cut the rabbit in 8 to 10 pieces. Season with salt and ground pepper.
- Heat the oil and butter in a heavy cooking pot or a cocotte over a medium heat and sauté on all sides for 3-4 minutes. When the rabbit is nicely brown, transfer it to a tray.
- Add the onions, shallots and garlic to the cocotte and cook until translucent.
- Return the rabbit to the cocotte, add the bouquet garni, the Belgian beer, stock and add water to cover the meat.
- Spread the Dijon mustard on the bread and place it on the meat.
- Simmer the rabbit for 45 to 60 minutes until soft and tender. Gently stir the meat regularly and make sure there is enough liquid at all times.