Cooking in the village: Aunty Vinka’s Rabbit Stew

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Aunty Vinka’s Rabbit Stew Recipe

Recently, over our Sunday family lunch we got talking about rabbit. My cousin who lives in the nearby town of Zaton, has been stalking a rabbit that likes to come out at night onto his street. He proceeded to tell me he has accidentally hit several wild rabbits with his car over the years due to the proximity of his house to the woods where they live. Waste not want not, he collected them and brought them home to the family! I know it sounds a little Beverley Hillbilly’s but trust me they only take critters they hit themselves!

Surprisingly, most of my immediate family here won’t eat Rabbit. I have to say I was quite shocked to hear this. Why not, I thought to myself! Its not logical to me that they eat snails (both sea and land), various internal organs of animals, cuttlefish eggs and fish eyes but rabbit is a turn off! It seems the fluffy little creatures are safe from the hungry bellies of my immediate family. Well some of them anyway.

Rabbits in a cage for rabbit stew
Are they not just so cute?

A week or so after this discussion, my Tetak (Uncle) told me that his Sister offered to give us a rabbit. Her family raise a dozen or so rabbits for meat.  I jumped at the chance and a date was set.

Upon arrival to pick up my fluffy bunny, I had a good look around at the rabbits. I was quite surprised to see that all the rabbits were in large clean pens. They are fed a great diet of left over raw vegetables and grass that is picked from the field next door. It was nice to know that they have a good healthy life.

Since moving to Croatia I have been trying to immerse myself in the Croatian culture and as such whenever an opportunity arises to experience something like this, I like to get involved.

I think its important that we have an understanding of where our food comes from and so my personal philosophy is if I’m prepared to eat it I must be prepared to at least witness it being slaughtered.

I”ll spare you the details, however, the sacrificial rabbit was selected and humanely slaughtered. Within 15 minutes the rabbit had been completely skinned, cleaned and was given to me to take home.

 

Holding a rabbit stew
Bye bye bugs

What did we do with the Rabbit?

My Aunt made this rabbit stew recipe, and I stole borrowed it for you.

Ingredients for rabbit stew recipe

  • 1 rabbit – cut into chunks
  • 2 diced onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • Olive oil  to cover the bottom of a heavy stew pot
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped fine fresh rosemary
  • 3 fresh whole bay leaves (use dried if you have to)
  • 1/3 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage (use dried if you have to)
  • 1 litre white wine
  • 50 grams tomato paste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 chopped cloves garlic

Preparation

The dish is cooked on low heat and will take about 2 hours.

  • Add oil to the bottom of the pot and add garlic and onion
  • When the garlic and onion start to change colour add in carrots and cook for a couple of minutes
  • Add the rabbit and allow it to cook on low heat until juices start to be released (around 15minutes). Ensure you mix occasionally to stop it from sticking
  • Toss in all of the herbs, tomato paste and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix
  • After several minutes pour in  1 litre of white wine. Dry white wine is preferable.
  • Allow to cook on a low heat, remember to mix occasionally to prevent it burning & sticking for around 2 hours. The white wine needs to reduce by about 80%. This bit can be a little tricky so keep an eye on the dish and add water if you need to.

Serve with polenta, mashed potato or gnocchi. Be sure to shave some parmesan cheese into the polenta for extra zing!

Do you have a rabbit stew recipe? What’s your secret?

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Comments (19)

  1. Hi i am italian and i just moved here in Croatia, precosely Split where i have my croatian boyfriend, and i have to say that i have to learn how to cook goof for him so i am happy that you posted some recipes ….i need to try them as soon as possible….Hvala vam puna!!!♡

  2. I’ll give this a try. We raise rabbits for meat here in Medimurje and, being close to Hungary, I usually make paprikas :o)

  3. take to prepare a rabbit anything it’s eating in the wild and you’re never wrong. compliments to teta Vinka !

  4. I really want to try this but my heart weeped a little when I saw the adorable fluffy thing knowing that he was turned into bunny stew. It does sound really yummy though I have to say. There are a lot of bunnies at my parent’s house in Washington, perhaps I’ll find my new source of protein *evil laugh* Now if only I can train my lazy ass hunting dog to actually hunt haha.

  5. Can I just say, that no food recipe post should include the photos of the cute and cuddly meat source before it is “humanely slaughtered”? Ok then 🙂

  6. Mate, Jim and I were just talking about which types of animals we would raise on a very small farm, and rabbits didn’t make the cut. We’ve never really had good rabbit. I would love to try your aunt’s recipe.

    1. In my limited experience, the best has always been rabbit stew. The meat becomes tender. I cooked it many times back in Aus but and veryone loved it, especially with the parmesan polenta.

  7. I’ve only had rabbit (knowingly) once before, and it was pretty delicious. My meat selection for home cooking, though, isn’t so “adventurous”. It all looks/sounds great!

  8. They only take critters they hit themselves.. ha!
    I was wondering where one gets a rabbit. Minus a supply from the nearest relative, I guess a butcher is the answer?!

    1. Yeah round these parts you gotta know where your meat came from 😛 Yup a butcher should have one. In Australia specialty stores that sold duck, quails and rabbits can also be found, maybe there is one like that close by you?

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