Rabbit Ragu

 Rabbit Ragù
 

 

 

Ragù is a meat-based sauce that is usually a sauce of meat with vegetables cooking in liquid.  I wanted to try braising (and not using the slow cooker, as this is a good substitute.)  A few months ago my friend ordered the rabbit ragù from Vivace (an Italian restaurant in Charlotte), and decided to try to make it on my own. 
 

(note: this makes about 8 cups, so it will feed a crowd. It will halve really well, or you can freeze.) 

Ingredients
½ cup olive oil
2 2–2½ lb. rabbits, cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. dried rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
2 boxes rigatoni (or hearty pasta)
2 tbsp. minced parsley
Optional: Freshly grated parmesan cheese, hot sauce/sriracha

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°. 


Butchered Rabbit








Heat oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season rabbit with salt and pepper, and add to pot; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. 


Add garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to pot; cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. 


Add tomato paste, wine, and chicken stock; cook about 5 minutes. 


Return rabbit to pot along with rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and tomatoes; cover with lid. Transfer to oven;  

 

Braise until meat falls off the bone, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.





















While meat is cooking (after an hour), bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package until al dente.  Drain pasta when cooked. 




Remove rabbit from pot, shred meat off bones, and discard bones; return meat to pot and season with salt and pepper. Serve ragù over pasta; sprinkle with parsley and parmesan. (I suggest adding a few drops of sriracha for those who want more than a ‘mild’ flavor.) 

 

 

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