International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Hasenpfeffer Recipe (German stewed rabbit)

(German stewed rabbit)

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Average: 4.4 (17 votes)

Hasenpfeffer is German for peppered hare, and is a famous game dish in Germany. Serve it with spätzle dumplings or with boiled or mashed potatoes and blaukraut (braised red cabbage).

4 to 6 servings


  • Rabbit, dressed and cut into serving pieces -- 3 pounds
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Flour -- 1/2 cup
  • Bacon, diced -- 1/3 pound
  • Shallots or onion, diced -- 5 shallots or 1 onion
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 or 3 cloves
  • Cognac or brandy -- 1/4 cup
  • Beef broth -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Red wine -- 1 cup
  • Lemon, sliced 1/4-inch rounds -- 1
  • Fresh thyme -- 1 sprig
  • Fresh rosemary -- 1 small sprig
  • Whole allspice berries -- 4
  • Juniper berries -- 3
  • Whole cloves -- 2
  • Bay leaf -- 1
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Currant or grape jelly -- 1 tablespoon
  • Butter -- 2 tablespoons
  • Flour -- 1/4 cup


  1. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Put the flour in a large bowl and add the rabbit to the bowl, tossing the pieces to coat them with the flour. Shake off the excess flour and set the floured rabbit pieces aside.
  2. Add the bacon to a large pot over medium-high heat and saute to render its fat, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the shallots or onion and garlic and saute until translucent and cooked through but not browned. Remove the bacon and shallots or onions to a bowl and set aside. Reserve some of the bacon fat in the pot.
  3. Add more oil to the pot if necessary and return the pot to medium-high flame. Brown the rabbit a few pieces at a time on all sides and set aside.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, and carefully add the cognac or brandy (it may flame up). Cook until its volume is reduced by about half.
  5. Return the rabbit pieces to the pot and add the broth, wine, lemons, thyme, rosemary, allspice, juniper berries, cloves, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. While rabbit is cooking, knead the butter and flour together with your fingers to form a smooth dough. You will use this to thicken the sauce.
  7. When the rabbit is cooked through and tender, remove it to a serving dish. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Stir the reserved bacon and shallots or onion back into the sauce. Add more stock or water if necessary to make about 2 cups.
  8. Return sauce to a simmer on the stove and whisk a small piece of the butter and flour mixture into the sauce and return to a simmer. Keep whisking pieces into the sauce until it reaches a nice consistency. Adjust seasoning, pour the sauce over the rabbit and serve.

Hasenpfeffer Variations

  • If you can't find or don't have juniper berries, substitute gin for the cognac. Gin gets its flavor from juniper berries.
  • Vinegar is sometimes used instead of the lemon to add a sour tang to the dish.


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