Skip to main content

German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe

Follow this recipe for a traditional Hasenpfeffer dish, otherwise known as German Rabbit Stew, for an unbelievable slow-cooked meal

German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe
Gentle vinegar and a mouthwatering marinade make this German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe a must-try. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)
Print Recipe

The German rabbit dish called “hasenpfeffer” is made by marinating rabbit in a highly spiced (not spicy) and vinegary concoction for 2 or 3 days, and then slow-cooking the rabbit in the same liquid after.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 48 hours
Cook time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 cottontails or 1 jackrabbit or 1 domestic rabbit
  • 2 tablespoons oil, separated
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf

Marinade:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves, whole
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Directions:


  1. In a saucepan, combine marinade ingredients and bring to a boil. Set aside and allow to cool completely. Quarter rabbit(s) into smaller pieces and place them inside a zip-top bag. When marinade is cool, pour it over the rabbit and seal. Refrigerate for 48 hours, flipping the bag occasionally.

  2. German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe
    Marinating the rabbit for 48 hours tests patience, but has a delicious payoff. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  3. When you’re ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove rabbit from the marinade. Strain the marinade, discarding solids only, and then set the liquid aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat (or other heavy ovenproof pot with a lid).

  5. German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe
    Coating the meat in flour helps with the browning of the rabbit. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

    Coat rabbit with the flour, shaking off excess, and brown on both sides. Do not overcrowd the pan; add more oil if necessary. Remove browned rabbit and set aside.


    German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe
    Add the oil, onion, and marinade to the pot before returning browned rabbit meat to the pot. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  6. Lower heat to medium. Add the remaining oil to the pot and sweat chopped onion until translucent. Then add the reserved liquid from the marinade and 1 tablespoon of sugar, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen up the brown bits.

    Return browned rabbit to the pot and add 2 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil then take off heat.

  7. German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe
    All the delicious ingredients come together in the pot as the mixture comes to a boil. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  8. Cover the pot with aluminum foil, then set the lid on top of the foil – this slows down evaporation. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1-2 hours, or until rabbit meat can be easily pulled from the bone. (I suggest checking after an hour and then go from there – my rabbit was done after an hour.)

  9. Serve hasenpfeffer over mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or German dumplings.

  10. German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe
    Serving over mashed potatoes compliments the bit of apple cider vinegar in this hasenpfeffer recipe. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

About this German Rabbit Stew (Hasenpfeffer) Recipe

My friend Gerry Steinauer is a botanist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and when Gerry and I get together, the topic of conversation often turns to cooking and wild game. On recent visits, hasenpfeffer has become his latest obsession.

As a kid, Gerry couldn’t stand to be home when the house filled with the acrid, pungent smell of boiling vinegar, which his devoted mother could also barely tolerate yet still unenthusiastically prepared hasenpfeffer for his father. But as an adult, Gerry’s tastes have changed, and he now has a newfound appreciation for this longtime German family favorite. And I bet the availability of more gentle vinegars does help a lot. I do not suggest using white vinegar with this dish – the flavor and smell is too harsh. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, choose red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar instead.


This rabbit stew recipe turned out to be delicious, and also unique. Fortunately, the vinegar did not overpower the rabbit – as I had feared. Rather, the acidity provided a pleasant foil to the richly buttered mashed potatoes I served with the hasenpfeffer.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been7 Favorite Truck Guns Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong Optics

3 Ways You're Using Trail Cameras Wrong

Tony J. Peterson

Chances are good that you're not getting the best out of your trail cams.

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.The Return of Lever Action Rifles Guns

The Return of Lever Action Rifles

Craig Boddington - May 26, 2020

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies.Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working? Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

See More Trending Articles

More Recipes

 A good camp cook will have several on hand.Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: A Camp Essential Survival

Cast-Iron Dutch Oven: A Camp Essential

Michael Pendley

A good camp cook will have several on hand.

Feel free to experiment with your own, but here are six sweet, spicy and downright scrumptious venison marinade recipes worth trying.6 Scrumptious Venison Marinade Recipes Recipes

6 Scrumptious Venison Marinade Recipes

David Draper

Feel free to experiment with your own, but here are six sweet, spicy and downright scrumptious...

An Italian-style recipe for pheasant that can be served as is, over pasta or in a sandwich. Pheasant Parmigiana (Parmesan) Recipe Recipes

Pheasant Parmigiana (Parmesan) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley - December 04, 2020

An Italian-style recipe for pheasant that can be served as is, over pasta or in a sandwich.

If you don't have a sous vide machine or immersion circulator, you can make this Butter Poached Pheasant Breasts Recipe using a pot of hot water on the stovetop.Sous Vide Recipe: Butter Poached Pheasant Breasts Recipes

Sous Vide Recipe: Butter Poached Pheasant Breasts

David Draper

If you don't have a sous vide machine or immersion circulator, you can make this Butter...

See More Recipes

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now