William's Kouneli Stifado

William's Kouneli Stifado

William's Kouneli Stifado is a delicious and satiating stew of rabbit and shallots bathed in a beautiful rich gravy, emanating from Ioannina, Epirus, Greece.


1.5 kg large rabbit pieces
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 separate cups extra virgin olive oil EVOO
2 brown onions finely chopped
4-5 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cloves
3 large bay leaves
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 glass full bodied red wine Syrah, Merlot or Agiorgitiko
5 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with 2 cups of water
1.3 kg small to medium shallots
1 teaspoon sugar



Preparing the kouneli stifado

  1. Place the rabbit pieces in a pot, add the red-wine vinegar and then add enough water to cover the rabbit; boil for 5 – 10 minutes

  2. Empty all the liquid and wash the pieces well with water; drain and set aside
  3. Wash out and dry the pot, before returning it to medium heat
  4. Add 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil and the brown onions. Sauté and soften the onions slightly before adding the garlic. Continue sautéing until the onions just start to brown

  5. Add the rabbit pieces and immerse them in the onion/garlic/oil mixture

  6. Immediately add the paprika, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Fry them all together on medium heat for 5 - 6 minutes

  7. Pour in the wine
  8. Add the tomato paste-water mixture and stir through well
  9. Simmer for 40 minutes

Preparing the shallots

  1. Carefully skin the shallots without scoring the inner layers
  2. Add 1 cup of EVOO, a teaspoon of sugar and the shallots to a baking dish or fry pan. Fry the shallots on medium to high heat until they brown a little

  3. Pour the contents of the baking dish/fry pan into the pot with the rabbit. Ensure the onions are immersed in the pot liquids and continue to simmer until the shallots are very soft and the sauce has reduced to an oily gravy; approximately 1.5-2 hours

Serving the kouneli stifado

  1. Serve with crusty bread, feta and olives
  2. Kali Orexi… Enjoy!