Antonia’s recipe and excellent wines from the Alentejo

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Alentejo Wines

Today we are back in Portugal! Unfortunately, most of us are still in Lockdown but maybe this is a good opportunity to try some of the recipes from “La Dolce Vita”. Antónia from restaurant “A Vela” has prepared us a new recipe from her birth region the Alentejo. This recipe with rabbit deserves a superb wine so let´s explore this wine region, which has an average of 3000 hours of sunshine annually thus an ideal climate for wine production. Those who have read my previous blogs will know that I am very fond of the Alentejo and Douro wines. Today I would like to share a few favourite Alentejo wines with you. As I write this I suddenly realise that the subject of alcohol has already cropped up several times in my posts………….☺ don’t worry it has nothing to do with excessive alcohol consumption but simply with enjoying “La Dolce Vita” !

The Alentejo is one of the premier and largest wine regions in Portugal. Most of the wine produced in this region is red,  and as today’s recipe is with rabbit we will stick to the reds. For those who are real wine connoisseurs  ………the most common grape varieties used in the Alentejo are Touriga, Nacional, Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Alfrocheiro, Castelão en Tricadeira.

Herdade do Esporão

Number one of my favourites is Herdade do Esporão (winery do Esporão). Herdade do Esporão is located in the beautiful area of Reguengos de Monsaraz. Both the Herdade do Esporão and the village of Monseraz are absolutely worth visiting. At the winery, you can discover how the wines are produced, have a wine and olive oil tasting or savour the delicacies of their restaurant. Esporão has a wide range of wines so there is a wine for every taste.  From an affordable “Monte Velho” or “Defesa” to a good “Reserva”, I like them all !

(by clicking on the blue text you will go to the websites from the producers)

Reguengos de Monsaraz

The small medieval village of Monseraz is truly a gem. Walking through the narrow streets it feels like going back in time. I also found some real treasures in the small handicraft and nature shops. If you ever have the chance to visit Monsaraz I recommend you visit “Loja da Mizette” in the Rua do Celeiro. Here they sell the famous “Mantas Alentejana”, a shop filled with beautiful handwoven, woollen rugs, blankets, puffs, and pillows.

Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of the cozy little shop next door to Mizette. But I do remember the name of the charming, French shop owner, Thierry 😉 . Thierry has traded his fashion career in Paris for Monsaraz where he is selling a whole range of fine local products. Now that is what you would call a case of “follow your dreams”! But I am starting to wander off again, making this post far too long…… So back to the red wines !

Dona Maria

The second favourite is “Dona Maria”  from Julio Bastos at Quinta do Carmo in Estremoz.

Also, Dona Maria has a broad range of wines, from a good table wine priced around 8.00 euros to a Grande Reserva priced around 30.00 euros. And of course, you will have already guessed it……… , all delicious! You can visit the “Quinta do Carmo” for a guided tour, a wine tasting, or even a fabulous dinner in the palace.

Cortes de Cima

Another good competitor is Cortes de Cima. The “Chaminé” from their collection is a very good and affordable option for a dinner with family and friends. I would call it an “easy” wine appreciated by most people. 

Just like the previously mentioned producers, Cortes de Cima has an extensive collection of wines for all kinds of tastes.  There is a Syrah, a Carbenet Sauvignon,  a Touriga Nacional and a Pinot Noir, and many others. 

This post would get far too long if I mention all my favourite wines ………but here is a shortlist of a few other brands that are also worth trying.

And now it is time for Antónia’s recipe.

Coelho “á Caçador ” (Hunter Rabbit) 

Ingredients : (serves 4)

  • 1 medium-size rabbit
    3dl white wine
    lemon juice from a small lemon
    Sprig of thyme
    1 bay leaf
    Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
    4 garlic cloves (sliced)
    2 big onions
    4 slices bread
    olive oil

Preparation :
Season a medium size rabbit cut into pieces with :
3dl white wine
Lemon juice
Thyme
bay leaf
Salt, pepper, and paprika q.b
4 laminated garlic
Leave this to rest in the fridge for one day.

The next day you fry two big, finely chopped onions in olive oil. When the onions have a golden colour you add the rabbit without the marinate. Fry this until golden brown and add the marinade with an extra 1 dl water. Or even better add 1 dl water from boiled vegetables.
Put a lid on the pan and cook the rabbit for 45 minutes. If at the end of the cooking time there is still too much liquid in the pan you remove the lid and raise the heat but be careful not to burn. Fry a slice of bread per person in olive oil and serve the rabbit with the bread, boiled vegetables, and boiled potatoes.

Enjoy !

With the collaboration of : (1) Restaurante A Vela | Facebook

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This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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1 Comment

  • Working and living in Portugal / Italy - La Dolce Vita 05/09/2021 at 1:25 pm Reply

    […] Of course, with all of this comes delicious and healthy food. Every day fresh fish, seafood and tomatoes that do not consist of just water are a luxury. Also, the fruit is often of much better quality than in Northern Europe. And last but not least, there are the delicious Portuguese wines! Every region has its own fantastic wines but I am a real fan of the Alentejo and Douro wines. More information about these wines can be found in my article Antonia’s recipe and excellent wines from the Alentejo –Antonia’s recipe and excellent wines from the Alentejo – La Dolce Vita (ladolcevita-in-t… […]

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