Hasenpfeffer (German Rabbit Stew)

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.

For this hasenpfeffer recipe, visit Petersen's Hunting at http://www.petersenshunting.com/editorial/german-rabbit-stew-recipe/327742