Lockdown: rabbit on the menu

slow cooked rabbit

On day 5 of lockdown we realised the cat may run out of cat food.

The brother-in-law was asked if he could bag a rabbit for us, and that very night, there were three bunnies to be had.

Obviously too much for one cat, we needed to take our fair share.

Husband David did all the necessary steps to make the rabbit look like it had been purchased in a shop, and tonight we will dine out as if in a posh restaurant.

This recipe, from an Italian friend, has been our go-to  rabbit recipe for years.

After dressing, marinate in lemon juice and olive oil overnight in the fridge.

Early the next evening you brown the joints in a frypan with bacon, before adding plump, black olives and other delectables and then cook it slowly in red wine.

Transforms Thumper into a dish of exquisite taste; tender, juicy meat, bursting with flavour.  Absolutely, utterly delicious.  (And yes, cat will get a little bit!)


(Team Gordonton are trying to keep trips to the supermarket to a minimum – thank goodness for the Farm Shop and Gordonton Superette. What dishes are you serving up this lockdown?  Please share!)


From the wall of fame, Gordonton dairy, artist Chris Smith.

Slow-cooked rabbit
1 rabbit, jointed
3 slices streaky bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teacup lemon juice
1 glass red wine
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
A handful of black olives
Fresh, chopped thyme, parsely, rosemary
1 cup stock
Gravy – 1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter

Marinate the rabbit in the lemon juice and half of the oil for at least eight hours.

Retain the marinade and fry the rabbit until nicely brown. Remove and fry the bacon in the juice, and, if so inclined, the heart, kidneys and liver. Then quickly fry the onion and garlic. Return rabbit to the pan and pour in the marinade.

Add wine, olives, herbs and season to taste. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, simmer for three hours.

Ten minutes before serving, remove the meat to a warmed platter. Melt the butter in a small pan, and slowly mix in the flour, stir into the cooking juices to thicken slightly. Pour this into a jug, and serve with creamy mashed potato and a simple salad.  Or broccoli that really must be eaten.

In times past, we have made a pie with leftovers. Make (or buy) puff pastry, line a deep dish, and fill with yummy morsels….  (Click here for the hare pie recipe.)

  • Thank you farmer John, once again!

rabbit pie



(First published November 6, 2017)

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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