Rabbit Stew Recipe - How to Make German Rabbit Stew | Hank Shaw (2024)

Home | German | German Rabbit Stew

5 from 35 votes

By Hank Shaw

September 10, 2012 | Updated July 11, 2022


Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This is an unusual German rabbit stew with the memorable name of eingemachtes kaninchen, according to Mimi Sheraton in her excellent book The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking. It’s a light, bright counterpoint to the more famous hasenpfeffer, which is made with hare.

Rabbit Stew Recipe - How to Make German Rabbit Stew | Hank Shaw (2)

This particular rabbit stew is a Swabian recipe, from Southern Germany. For those of us in the United States, when we read the recipe and we don’t immediately think of Germany, but rather of that country’s former financial nemesis: Greece. Lemon, capers and bay leaves play a prominent role in this stew.

But instead of oregano and olive oil and yogurt, the Germans use parsley and butter and sour cream. It is brothy, meaty and tart, with just a whiff of creaminess. Think avgolemono with more fiscal discipline. (If you want to go full Greek, I have a recipe for Greek rabbit stew.)

You may be wondering if this rabbit stew is some sort of variant on the most famous German rabbit recipe, hasenpfeffer. It is most definitely not.

For starters, hasenpfeffer requires a hase, a hare. And a hare is not a rabbit. Rabbits are light, mild white meat. Hares are heavy, strongly flavored red meat, and hasenpfeffer is a heavy, strongly flavored stew. In America, hasenpfeffer should be made with jackrabbit.

If you want some variation, try this stew with chicken, pheasant, quail, grouse or turkey. I bet it would be good with a firm fish like halibut, too. It is very good with boiled or mashed potatoes, or rice or just some crusty bread.

This recipe, however, is a perfect stew for cool nights, yet still light enough to enjoy with a chilled white wine outside on the porch as you watch the sunset, thinking about the next time you’ll get a chance to chase Mr. Cottontail.

Chances are if you’re a hunter, you know how to joint a rabbit. But for those of you buying your bunny, they all come whole, so you will need to part it out yourself. I’ve written a tutorial on how to cut up a rabbit here.

Be sure to read the recipe’s headnotes, because while the base of this rabbit stew will keep for a few days, once you add the cream, you’re committed. So my advice would be to make the base and only add the cream and white wine right before you serve the stew.

5 from 35 votes

German Rabbit Stew

Chicken thighs would work well here, too, as would pheasant. There is another version of this stew in Germany that uses veal, too. It is a two-step stew, meaning you make the base and "mount" it with sour cream, white wine and capers right at the end. Once you add those final ingredients you are committed, so if you want to make this for dinners or lunches for the week, store just the base (up to Step 4) and add the remaining ingredients when you want to eat.

Save RecipePin RecipePrint Recipe

Course: Soup

Cuisine: German

Servings: 4 people

Author: Hank Shaw

Prep Time: 30 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 2 hours hours 30 minutes minutes


  • 2 cottontail rabbits, or 1 domestic rabbit, cut into serving pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion, sliced root to tip
  • Zest of a lemon white pith removed, cut into wide strips
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • White wine to taste, at least 2 tablespoons
  • Black pepper
  • Parsley for garnish


  • 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. Add a tablespoon of butter. 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.

  • Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, then the sliced 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.

  • Return the rabbit to the pot and add enough chicken stock to cover. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. 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, depending on how old your rabbit was.

  • This is an optional step, but I prefer it: Turn off the heat, fish out the rabbit pieces and let the cool on a baking sheet. Pull all the meat off the bones and return the meat to the stew. I don't like fiddly stews with bones in them, so I do this. You can leave everything on the bone if you want.

  • You can now store the stew for several days. Or you can serve it at once. Turn the heat to low just to make sure the stew is nice and hot. Do not let it simmer. Add the sour cream, capers and as much white wine as you want -- you want the stew to be a bit zingy. Stir in a healthy amount of black pepper and garnish with parsley.


Serve this with bread or potatoes and a crisp, German white wine. A lager beer would be good, too.


Calories: 705kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 110g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 435mg | Sodium: 386mg | Potassium: 1986mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 354IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 16mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

Categorized as:
German, Recipe, Wild Game

You May Also Like


Alpine Bread Soup

If you are looking for a delicious, thing to do with stale bread, you could do a whole lot worse than make a batch of bread soup: It’s quick, easy and only uses a few ingredients.

American Recipes

Sauerkraut Casserole

An easy-to-make casserole or hotdish, sauerkraut casserole is basically German lasagna: Sauerkraut, venison or beef, noodles and cheese. What’s not to love?


Homemade Braunschweiger

How to make German braunschweiger sausage at home. Braunschweiger is a liver sausage that is then smoked. Pork plus bird livers are a great option.


German Jägerschnitzel

Jägerschnitzelis one of Germany’s best known dishes. Also spelled jaegerschnitzel, it means “hunter’s cutlets,” meat pounded thin and served with…

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Read More About Me

Rabbit Stew Recipe - How to Make German Rabbit Stew | Hank Shaw (2024)


What do you soak rabbit in before cooking? ›

A Brine Keeps the Rabbit Moist

For the brine, I use buttermilk and a mix of fresh herbs and dried spices. The mustard, paprika, and pepper add bite and a subtle smoky heat to the rabbit, the onion and garlic powders provide a more rounded, savory flavor, and the fresh thyme and rosemary brightens everything up a bit.

What is the best cooking method for rabbit? ›

The best way to get tender rabbit meat is by butchering them around the 12-week mark (depending on the breed) and cooking them low and slow. A crockpot is a fantastic way of cooking rabbit for tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.

What is the name of the German dish traditionally made with rabbit or hair? ›

Hasenpfeffer is a traditional stew in German cuisine prepared using hare or rabbit as a primary ingredient. Some preparation variations exist, but the blood of the hare or rabbit is traditionally used, which serves to thicken the stew. It is typically a very flavorful and delicious stew.

How to cook a rabbit to make it tender? ›

Place in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Combine onion, water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, paprika, and garlic in a medium bowl; mix well, then pour over rabbit. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven, basting frequently, until very tender, about 90 minutes.

Should rabbit be soaked before cooking? ›

Often described as a stronger version of chicken, rabbit has a slightly sweet, vaguely gamey flavour and a pleasant texture, with wild rabbit having a much deeper flavour than farmed. Wild rabbits can be soaked in cold water for 3 hours to whiten the flesh if preferred.

Do I need to soak rabbit in salt water? ›

The meat is slightly darker and has more flavor, but can also be slightly tougher,” says Eley, who explains that the best way to prepare a wild rabbit is to soak it in either a saltwater solution or buttermilk. Saltwater will draw out any remaining blood and start to tenderize it.

How do you cook rabbit so it's not tough? ›

Cooking Temperature

Your mileage may very, but cooking at a low temperature will make your life easier by preventing your rabbit from becoming tough — you won't have to babysit it as much as high-temperature cooking. In the oven, this means 250f is sufficient for roasting in a pot, which will take ~2-2.5 hrs.

What is the most popular rabbit dish? ›

Top 9 Rabbit Dishes in the World
  • Stew. Kouneli stifado. Skiathos. Greece. ...
  • Stew. Fenkata. MALTA. shutterstock. ...
  • Rabbit Dish. Coniglio alla ligure. Liguria. Italy. ...
  • Rabbit Dish. Fenek moqli. MALTA. shutterstock. ...
  • Rice Dish. Conejo con arroz. Calasparra. Spain. ...
  • Rabbit Dish. Conejo al ajillo. SPAIN. shutterstock. ...
  • Stew. Coniglio alla cacciatora. ITALY.
Apr 15, 2024

How do you know when rabbit is done cooking? ›

For safety, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends cooking rabbit to an internal temperature of at least 160 °F (71 °C). The use of a food thermometer is recommended.

What do Germans call rabbit? ›

Kaninchen rabbit (noun)

The brown rabbit is eating leaves in the garden. Kaninchen sind wirklich süß und schmecken auch gut.

What is rabbit meat called in a restaurant? ›

In restaurants, rabbit meat is often called “coney” or “lapin.” “Coney,” derived from the Anglo-Norman term, was commonly used in medieval England, while “lapin,” a French term, is widely used in contemporary fine dining establishments.

What is the German national dish? ›

Sauerbraten (pronounced [ˈzaʊ̯ɐˌbʁaːtn̩]) is a traditional German roast of heavily marinated meat. It is regarded as a national dish of Germany, and is frequently served in German-style restaurants internationally.

How long do you boil rabbit before cooking? ›

pot, fill about half way with water. Add 2 T. salt, and bring to a boil. Add rabbit, and parboil for 1/2 hours Drain, and let cool.

Why do you soak rabbit in milk? ›

The milk/vinegar mix (similar to buttermilk) will help to brine/pre-season the meat and impart moisture, while keeping the meat tender. Once your rabbit is soaking in the fridge, prepare your dredge. Mix all ingredients and run them through a sifter if you so desire, otherwise mix until hom*ogeneous.

How do you prepare a rabbit before cooking? ›

To butcher a rabbit, start with a sharp knife—ideally a cleaver.
  1. Stand up the rabbit and use the tip of the knife to break through the breastbone.
  2. Split the rib bones going down either side of the back.
  3. Using the tip of the knife again, remove the hind legs at the joint.
  4. Similarly, remove the forelegs.

What do you soak rabbit in? ›

Lots of them recommend soaking the rabbit in saltwater overnight before cooking.

What can I bath my rabbit in? ›

Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of gentle baby shampoo or castile soap. Dip a cotton ball in the solution and gently cleanse around the rabbit's anus, taking care to wet only the area that needs to be cleaned.

How to marinate rabbit meat? ›

To marinate the rabbit, mix in buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Let the rabbit marinate in the fridge for about 4-12 hours.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated:

Views: 5926

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.