Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 2.5 hrs
Wild rabbit is deep, rich and earthy. Given they are animals that spend much of their time running around, it is a meat that responds well to slow braising to bring out its tenderness. This recipe takes inspiration from a Ligurian classic, with the addition of sweet balsamic onions to cut through the gamey richness.
1 medium size wild rabbit - about 1.5kg, portioned into legs, shoulders, loins (split in 4), belly strips. You can ask your butcher to do this for you, or give it a go if you’ve got DIY enthusiasm – here’s a good how to video. Ensure the bones from the ribcage and neck end are kept as these can be used to make a delicious rabbit stock50g butter
3 tbsp mild olive, rapeseed or vegetable oil
3 large onions, finely sliced
3 bay leaves
Sea salt, to taste
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
125ml balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
300ml pinot noir or similar light red wine
500ml chicken stock
Handful of pine nuts, toasted until lightly golden
12 black olives, pitted & halved
Flour, for dusting
2. Whilst the onions are browning, make the rabbit stock. Place a medium-sized pan over a high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and fry the rabbit bones from the ribcage and neck with a couple pinches of salt and a few twists of pepper. Cook until well browned, approx. 5 mins. Add the remaining half of the garlic, along with half of the rosemary and thyme and cook for a further 2 mins, before deglazing with the wine. Once the liquid has reduced by half add the chicken stock, and reduce by half again.
Serve with potatoes (dauphinois or mash), and dark green vegetables (Italian cicoria or cavolo nero). Enjoy with a glass of the same wine you used to make the sauce – surely that makes perfect sense!
Wild rabbits caught in Kent, available at, and prepared by The Butchery Ltd.