I don’t get a chance to cook rabbit much these days.
However, we’ve recently been wandering around northern Flinders with some friends and we were able to score a few rabbits for the larder.
As the rabbits were taken in bluebush country, I’ve named this recipe ‘Bluebush Rabbit Stew.’ It’s another recipe with a weird combination of ingredients, but it works.
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 rabbits – gutted, dressed and jointed (cut out the tail bone and neck)
- 2 onions – roughly chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves – chopped (or 4 or more tsp minced garlic)
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks – broken in half
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 small/med orange – zest
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 2 cups red wine (approx)
- 1-2 cups beef or chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- Soak the rabbit joints in cold salted water (about one heaped teaspoon per litre of water) for one to two hours for young rabbits, or longer for older, larger rabbits. Remove and pat dry before browning.
- Heat some oil in the base of your camp oven or heavy-based pan. Add the oregano as this will flavour the oil and consequently the rabbit.
- Add the rabbit (in batches – don’t overcrowd the pot) and brown on all sides. Remove and continue until all pieces of the rabbit are browned. Remove the last batch of rabbit and set aside.
- Add a little more oil if needed, then heat, and add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, cumin, bay leaves and orange zest and sauté for a few minutes until the flavours are released.
- Add the tomato paste and mix through and then add the red wine.
- Return the rabbit pieces to the pot and season to taste. Add enough stock liquid so the rabbit is just covered.
- Bring to the boil, then cover the rabbit with some baking paper. This helps to keep the top of the rabbit from drying out and browning and it also helps keep all the moisture in.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 1½ to two hours or until the rabbit is tender. Keep an eye on the liquid to make sure it hasn’t gone down too much. If need be, add more water.
- Just before serving taste the sauce. Add the ground cinnamon and stir through if you would prefer.
- To turn this into a one pot meal, add some potato, carrot and celery pieces to the stew for the last 45 minutes to one hour of cooking. Timing will depend on how large the vegetable pieces are.
- Not a fan of rabbit? Chicken also works for this recipe.