rabbit stew with tomato

rabbit stew

I came across this rustic stew while leafing through the new River Cottage cookbook. I had never cooked rabbit before and this recipe looked so straight forward, I decided to give it a go. After a bit of chopping, slicing and browning the rabbit is left to slowly cook and mingle with the other ingredients in a low oven. It came out really moist and tender despite being extremely lean, and the tomato based sauce was lovely spooned over the meat and some mashed potatoes. The rabbit was however a little scrawny, with not much meat on it – at £10 a pop you’d be better off making the stew with chicken if you’re cooking for a large group, I think would come out just as good (if not better). For those of you who are more adventurous, the cookbook recommends a substitute of grey squirrels (I’ll stick to rabbit or chicken thanks).

Rabbit Stew with Tomato
(adapted from River Cottage Everyday)
serves 2

1 rabbit, jointed
2 tbsp olive oil
4 rashers streaky bacon
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
4-5 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 whole black peppercorns
500g (1lb) tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
1 x 400g (280oz) tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
2 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F).

Season the rabbit pieces generously with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron pot (dutch oven) on a medium-high heat and add the bacon, cooking until brown. Add the rabbit and cook until nicely coloured on all sides. Remove the rabbit from the pan and set aside.

To the same pot add the onions, carrots and celery, cooking until they have coloured a little (add a sprinkling of water if the vegetables start to stick to the pot). Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns, and return the rabbit pieces to the pot.

Deglaze with the wine then throw in the fresh and tinned tomatoes, giving everything a good stir. Add enough water to just cover the rabbit and bring to a slow simmer.

Cut a piece of greaseproof paper into a circle the diameter of your pot and place directly on top of the stew. Put the pot in the oven to gently cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Take the pot out of the oven and remove the bay and thyme. Pick out the rabbit pieces and set aside in a warm place. Strain the sauce (if you prefer a more rustic dish you can forgo this and leave the vegetables in) and put back on the stove to reduce.

Mash the flour and butter together to form a paste and add to the sauce to thicken. once the desired consistency is reached, stop cooking and season to taste.

Serve the stew with fluffy mashed potatoes and steamed greens.

Wild Rabbit on Foodista

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~ by gourmettraveller on November 10, 2009.

9 Responses to “rabbit stew with tomato”

  1. Interesting post, as my grandparents use to catch and cook this dish, very nice presentation and post that brought make a multitude of memories for me thanks

  2. I have never tried to cook or eat rabbit. :P
    What taste is it like?
    I can remember that I came across some rabbit meat available at supermarkets. But not long, there aren’t anymore. Don’t know why.

    • It’s similar to chicken but leaner, with a mild gamey flavour. It’s also really healthy, being very low in both fat and cholesterol.

  3. Love it! Rabbit is so yummy. I do always feel slightly bad though. They have such cute fluffy tails…

  4. yummm! I never had rabbit before but this is something I would be willing to try

  5. a lovely rabbit stew this is!!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMM,…just a feast for the eyes!!

  6. The first time I had rabbit, I loved it! Tho for that price, I’d do chicken too. Its not that different. I did see in Food and Wine magazine, there was a recipe where they switched out the rabbit for duck. Duck isn’t quite as expensive right?

  7. Rabbit is a delicacy where I’m from (Grenada, West Indies), but I’ve never tried it before. Never been too eager to try it until now. Looks a bit like chicken :)

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