Rabbit with white wine and celery

Another rabbit recipe. I keep finding more, and I’m still working through them; who knew there were so many? This one was especially tasty, and I would make it again, no bother. It might be good with green olives as well. I served it with polenta, but mashed potatoes would be good as well. 


  • 1 wild rabbit, jointed
  • 30g butter, or a mixture of butter and lard
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes, or 250g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • salt and pepper


  • In a large casserole dish or lidded saucepan, brown the rabbit pieces in the butter and lard. Remove from the pan and put to one side
  • In the butter and lard, brown the onion for five minutes, and then add the celery and garlic for another couple of minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, and simmer for five minutes
  • Return the rabbit to the pan, and pour over the white wine. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer
  • Reduce the heat and cook slowly for around 2 hours, or until the rabbit is nice and tender. If the sauce is looking a bit dry, add some more wine. 

Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes. 

Rabbit with saffron, almonds and pine nuts

We used some wild rabbit to make this, which takes quite a bit of cooking until it is tender.


  • 1 large rabbit, jointed into five or six pieces
  • 600ml stock (vegetable or chicken stock)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace or a blade of mace
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


  • Rinse the rabbit pieces, and drop them into boiling water. Bring the water to the boil, then drain and rinse the rabbit in cold water.
  • Put the blanched rabbit into a saucepan with half of the stock, and simmer over a low heat. Check from time to time, and top up with a little water if there is a risk of the dish boiling dry. I simmered our rabbit for an hour. 
  • Mix the rest of the stock with the ground almonds and bring to a simmer. I used a stick blender to ensure that the almonds and the stock were well blended and finely mixed. 
  • Mix the rabbit and the almond mixture, and add the mace, cloves and cinnamon, as well as the pine nuts and sugar. Bring back to a simmer, and cook until the rabbit is tender. 
  • Meanwhile, put the saffron in a small glass or jug and add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water, and let this stand for twenty minutes. 
  • When the rabbit is cooked, add the saffron water and the red wine vinegar, bring back to the boil briefly, before serving. 

We had this with celeriac and potato mash, and some root vegetables. 

Rabbit with green olives and wine (Ligurian rabbit cacciatore)

I saw this dish being served on Stanley Tucci’s fantastic series on Italian food. I’ve been trying to recreate it, and it is easy and delicious.

It is well worth watching both series of this program, the joy of good food shines through, from the program makers, the food producers to the presenters. The Ligurian program is the episode which inspired this recipe. 


  •  One wild rabbit, jointed into 6 pieces
  • 60ml olive oil
  •  3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Approx 40g stoned green olives
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, or a sprig of thyme (you could also use rosemary)
  • 200ml medium dry white wine, or 50/50 wine and chicken stock
  • salt and pepper


  • Put all of the ingredients except the olives, stock and seasoning into a plastic box with a lid, and marinade the rabbit overnight. 
  • The next day, put all of the ingredients including the olives, stock and seasoning, into a casserole dish.
  • Cook in the oven at 170C for an hour and a half, or until the rabbit is tender

I served this with grilled bulb fennel and a few small potatoes

Rabbits in cider

This is a third recipe combining the flavour of rabbits with apples. The rabbits were stored in the freezer, having been shot last month. Malcolm tells me that this is prime rabbit shooting time: they are fat and ready for winter, and good eating. Susannah found the recipe and it was very tasty.


  • 2 tbsp organic olive oil from the wholefood co-op
  • 300g bacon, freerange, diced
  • 1 rabbit, cut into joints, available locally
  • 12 carrots, homegrown for preference
  • 8 shallots, homegrown for preference
  • 4 garlic cloves, homegrown for preference
  • 2 tbsp organic honey from the wholefood co-op or fairtrade from the scottish co-op
  • 1 sprig of thyme, homegrown
  • 1 bayleaf, homegrown
  • 400ml cider
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Fry off the bacon in the oil and remove to a large casserole dish
  • Fry off the rabbit in the same oil, and put in the dish with the bacon
  • Fry off the carrots, shallots, garlic and honey, on a low heat, until the mixture looks caramelised
  • Put the caramelised vegetables on top of the rabbit, and add cider, herbs and seasoning.
  • Cook at 120C for 2-3 hours, until the rabbit is cooked.

We also had bread and butter pudding afterwards, but that is another story.

Rabbit with white wine and mushrooms

This recipe is from Norman Tebbit’s book The Game Cook. He advises that cider can be used instead of wine, and suggests mashed potato as a good accompaniment. We had rice which was also good, but not very local.


  • Organic plain flour
  • 1 rabbit, skinned andjointed
  • 1 tbsp organic olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 8oz diced salt bacon or streaky bacon or pancetta
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 450g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large glass dry white wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • bouquet garni
  • 300ml ‘marigold’ stock
  • salt, pepper and parsley to garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 170C gas 3
  • Season the flour with salt and pepper, and coat the rabbit joints in the flour
  • Heat the oil and butter in the bottom of a large stainless steel saucepan. Fry off the onion until soft.
  • Add the bacon then the rabbit, and continue frying until the rabbit is brown on all sides and the onions are golden
  • Next, add the herbs, wine, garlic and mushrooms, along with the stock. Bring to the boil and stir it well.
  • If the pan is suitable, cover and put into the oven. Otherwise, transfer to a casserole dish. Either way, make sore the rabbit is covered
  • Let the casserole simmer in the oven for 2 or more hours. When you are ready, drain off the gravy and reduce by boiling. Alternatively, add a little beurre manie (butter and flour mixture) and simmer untuil thickened.
  • Serve the rabbit with the sauce poured over the top, and with vegetables and potatoes.

Sicillian Rabbit Cacciatore

Another recipe to add to my quest to find good recipes for wild rabbit. This time, my rabbit arrived skinned but whole, so I followed the directions here: https://www.jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-joint-a-rabbit/ – if the liver is still there, separate the lobes and remove the central gristle as this is a good addition to the stew. 


  • 1 wild rabbit, jointed, 
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of celery (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • a bunch of mint, chopped
  • 350ml wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100g chopped green olives
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat a little oil in the pan, salt and add the rabbit joints, until beginning to brown. Remove and set aside on a plate
  • To the same pan, add more olive oil, with chopped garlic, onion, celery, and fry gently until beginning to brown. 
  • Add the mint, red wine and the rabbit, and the liver if this is available. Bring to a simmer. 
  • As the wine reduces, add the chopped olives, pepper and tomato puree, and bring to a simmer
  • I cook at a low heat in the oven for a couple of hours, at around 140C. 

We had this tonight, with potatoes and steamed broccoli


Rabbit with prunes and nuts

Another great rabbit recipe, this time from the north east coast of Spain. I cooked this in two stages. Simmering the rabbit slowly helped the meat to fall from the bone. Thank you to the supplier of rabbit. 


  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large peeled tomatos, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of dried thyme
  • 1 bayleaf
  • a glass of red wine
  •  12 ready-to-eat prunes (or soaked prunes)
  • a handful of pine nuts
  • a quarter of a lemon
  • 12 blanched almonds
  •  a large clove of garlic
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp seasalt


  • Fry the rabbit in the olive oil, browning them. Set the rabbit aside until later
  • Simmer the finely chopped onion in the same pan, for around ten minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook slowly for half an hour, crushing the tomatoes to make a thick sauce
  • Add the rabbit back to the pain with thyme, the bayleaf and cover. Cook in a slow oven, around 140C for an hour and a half. Add the glass of red wine to keep the dish moist, about an hour into the cooking. If you are going to do this in two stages, you can pause here and chill until you are ready to finish the dish. 
  • Meanwhile, simmer the prunes in just enough water to cover, along with the pine nuts and the lemon. This should take half an hour.
  • Chop the almonds, and put them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, with the salt, and then add the peppercorns, and finally grind in the garlic.
  • Add the almond paste to the stew, stir in and cook for another fifteen minutes. Then, add the stewed prunes and stir well. 

We had this with new potatoes. Any other potato dish would be fine, as well as a small salad or green vegetables. 

Rabbits, wild geese and Venison

I have been posting a lot of recipes for rabbit and venison, and there is a good reason for that. I live on an island that has beautiful sandy habitats called Machair on the west, facing the sea, and heather-covered hills to the east. The Uist islands are one of the few places left where the machair is still managed.

The rabbits have invaded the machair, and are eroding the dunes, and deer numbers are out of control, spreading ticks and with them Lyme disease as well as damaging native ecosystems. Wild greylag geese crop the machair lands very close, pulling up vegetation by the roots and fouling the grasslands. 

The existence of the machair, and the biodiversity that it supports, depends on low level agriculture. This includes controlling the species that are present, wild and otherwise. Rabbits, geese and deer need to be controlled to keep the dunes safe, the grasslands in good condition, and conserving some of the more fragile aspects of our environment. By researching tasty recipes and passing them on, I am supporting local diversity. 

Rabbits, apples and cider

We had this tonight, either this was an exceptionally tender rabbit, or the recipe was just fab. I think the latter. As it was midweek, I did my trick of doing the main cooking last night, and then reheating and cooking for another 15 minutes tonight. 


  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • seasoned flour
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 good pinch of dried thyme leaves
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g pancetta or diced smoked streaky bacon
  • 300ml dry cider
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat the butter in a saucepan, and fry the chopped apples, onions, bacon and celery together. When the onion is soft and beginning to brown, set aside, and add the herbs and nutmeg. 
  • Dip the rabbit in the seasoned flour. Add a little more butter to the pan and fry the rabbit until the joints are browned. 
  • Add the cider and the fried onion mixture, bring to a simmer and season to taste. 
  • Cover and put into an oven heated to 150C for around an hour and a half. 

We served this with mashed potatoes and braised cabbage. It would be excellent with parsnips too. 

Rabbit cacciatore

I reserve the right to edit this recipe from time to time. I have been testing out a few variations on this theme, and this one is the best so far. It has taken a bit of experimentation and quite a few rabbits. Thanks to those of you who have been supplying me and to those who have butchered them for me. I’ll need to learn how myself one day. 


  • 1 rabbit, jointed
  • 15g plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • mustard/rape-seed oil
  • 100g smoked pancetta
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 75ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500ml stock
  • 20 black olives, stoned
  • chopped parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Season the rabbit meat and flour with salt and pepper. Dust the rabbit with the flour.
  • In a large oven-proof pan, heat the oil and fry the rabbit in stages, browning on all sides, and setting this aside when done.
  • In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, peppers and pancetta and cook slowly until soft. 
  • Add the rosemary, wine and mushrooms and cook for a further five minutes, evaporating off any surplus moisture
  • Mix the stock and tomato paste. 
  • Add the olives and rabbit to the pan, and pour over the stock. Put a lid on the pan and put it in the oven to cook for around an hour. 

Best with mashed or baked potatoes.