Some people don’t like eating rabbit because when they are alive they are very cute. However I think this is just a way of showing us that they are also delicious when eaten (see pigs for another example). This rabbit stew is the best way to eat it.
So if you had a little fluffy bunny growing up this may not be the recipe for you, but I really really think you should give it a go. If you do find yourself too attached to the thought of those white tails bobbing through fields this recipe also works with pork.
This recipe is one of those magic Italian dishes, a collection of humble ingredients combined to make something so much more than the sum of its parts. It works well for large numbers of people, so it has loads of time to reduce and intensify. I’ve given the amounts for enough rabbit stew for 12, because lots of food is better than not lots of food.
- Round about 3kg of prepared rabbit – either ask your butcher to chop it up into chunks for you, or you can occasionally get your hands on it in Sainsbury’s
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 3 sticks of celery – finely diced
- 2 carrots (optional) – finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 300ml white wine
- Loads of fresh rosemary – 2 or 3 sprigs
- Vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- ½ tsp sugar
Choose a large, heavy bottomed frying pan with a lid and put in your oil, celery, carrot and garlic and fry until slightly soft. This part of the cooking is called Soffritto and is the basis for a huge number of Italian dishes. Add the rosemary and some salt and pepper.
Add the rabbit and brown all over.
Then add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol has cooked off.
Meanwhile add the vegetable stock to 300ml of boiling water with the tomato puree and sugar then add to the pan.
Cook for two hours with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Then serve with tagliatelle, roasted potatoes or polenta. All thoughts of Peter Rabbit will be a distant fluffy memory.