- 1 rabbit, about 21⁄2 pounds, cut into serving pieces
- Red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup tomato paste diluted with 1/2 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
For the garlic sauce:
- Three 1-inch-thick slices stale rustic bread,crusts removed
- 1⁄2 cup walnut halves
- 1⁄2 cup blanched almonds
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves, to taste, peeled
- Salt to taste
- 2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar, to taste
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1. Wash the rabbit and place it in a large bowl with enough red wine vinegar to cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove from the vinegar, pat dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the rabbit pieces on all sides, in batches if necessary. Add enough water to the pot to come about halfway up the rabbit and simmer over medium heat until about two thirds of the liquid has boiled off, about 25 minutes. Strain the liquid, and reserve.
3. Add the diluted tomato paste, cinnamon, and cloves to the pot with the rabbit. Add enough water to cover the rabbit, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and braise the meat for 45 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the garlic sauce: Dampen the bread under the tap and squeeze dry. Break into crumbs and set aside. Place the nuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse on and off until mealy. Add the bread and pulse to combine. Season with salt. Add the olive oil, vinegar, and reserved rabbit broth in alternating streams a little at a time, pulsing until the mixture is thick and creamy, adding water if necessary to achieve the consistency of a very thick batter.
5. Pour the skordalia over the rabbit. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the sauce is very thick, almost set, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve.