Rabbit and Smoked Pork Sausage Sauce Piquante

Prep Time: 2–2 1/2 Hours
8 Servings

Comment: Sauce piquant, or “peppery sauce”, is a stew-like dish of French origin in Louisiana. It can be made with seafood, domesticated meats or wild game. Tomato is added to the dish to give it a slightly rusty color. Although called “peppery”, the sauce has just the right touch of spice.

1 rabbit, dressed and cut into 8 pieces
1 pound smoked pork sausage, sliced
1 cup oil
salt and black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
2 tbsp diced garlic
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel®
1 quart beef stock
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp minced basil leaves
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
pinch red pepper flakes
steamed white rice for serving

In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season rabbit using salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Sauté rabbit until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from oil and keep warm. Add sausage to pot and sauté 5–7 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove from oil and keep warm. Add flour to oil in the pot and, using a wire whisk, stir constantly until a dark brown roux is achieved. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add tomato paste and continue to stir 5–6 minutes or until the sauce is a nice brown color. Add Rotel® and beef stock. Blend well into the roux mixture, bring to a rolling boil and reduce to simmer. Add rabbit, sausage, sugar, salt, and peppers. Blend well. Add Worcestershire, basil, and thyme. Allow to simmer 1 hour and check the rabbit for tenderness. An additional 30 minutes may be needed for simmering, depending on the age of the rabbit. Once the rabbit is tender, finish with green onions, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Serve hot over a plate of steamed white rice.