So after all the hype about making hassenpfeffer, I feel a little silly for not realizing that this particular recipe wasn't going to work well just from reading it. The sauce has bacon and wine in it, so it wasn't all bad. But marinating the rabbit in an acid (vinegar) for a long time, as directed by the cookbook, is a bad move. It made the meat tough and sour, so the rabbit was ruined before I even started cooking it. The search for an authentic recipe continues.
Is there consensus on what traditional hassenpfeffer even is? I've seen recipes that call for pickling spices, lemons, grape jelly, sour cream, or cognac to the sauce. Another recipe would have me out scavenging the neighborhood bushes for juniper berries. Bittman claims chocolate is a traditional ingredient, but the only other recipe I've seen that backs that up is a jugged hare recipe in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's imposing tome on Meat. Jugged hare is a rabbit cooked in its own blood. Forgive me, I am not yet bored enough with food to eat blood sauce.
Usually I can at least compile a decent recipe from researching online, but for this one the ingredient lists are all over the map. I might be curious enough to try again if I can find a better recipe, but I suppose a hunter's stew will always be somewhat improvised.
I had a bit more culinary luck on a recent visit to my friends in NY, where I was thoroughly spoiled with miso ramen from Momofuku noodle shop, a juicy burger from Joy Burger, and the amazing toasted marshmallow milkshake from Stand.