Aunty Vinka’s Rabbit Stew Recipe

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Post author Mate

Written by our local expert Mate

Mate is Croatian and owns a transport company in the Balkans, he has visited over 30 countries. He is an expert on all things transportation as well as food and wine.

Recently, over our Sunday family lunch, we got talking about rabbits. 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 rabbits. I have to say I was pretty shocked to hear this. Why not? I thought to myself! It’s not logical to me that they eat snails (both sea and land), various internal organs of animals, cuttlefish eggs, and fish eyes, but the rabbit is a turnoff! 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 raises 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 pretty surprised to see that all the rabbits were in large clean pens. They are fed an excellent diet of leftover 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. As such, whenever an opportunity arises to experience something like this, I like to get involved.

I think it’s essential that we understand where our food comes from, 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

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What Did We Do With The Rabbit?

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

Croatian Rabbit Stew

Croatian Rabbit Strew

This is a simple, yet tasty recipe for how to make my Aunty Vinka's rabbit stew.


  • 1 skinned 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 tablespoons chopped fine fresh rosemary
  • 3 whole bay leaves (fresh or dried both work)
  • 1/3 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage (use dried if you have to)
  • 1-liter dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 chopped cloves garlic


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

    1. Add oil to the bottom of the pot and add garlic and onion
    2. When the garlic and onion start to change color, add in carrots and cook for a couple of minutes
    3. Add the rabbit and allow it to cook on low heat until juices start to be released (around 15minutes). Ensure you occasionally mix to stop it from sticking
    4. Toss in all of the herbs, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and mix
    5. After several minutes pour in 1 liter of dry white wine
    6. Allow to cook on 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. The rabbit needs to cook until tender
    7. 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. 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 :P 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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 :)

  5. 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.

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

    1. marinate in red wine +++ for 24 hours and add some pancetta when cooking (y) (+++= everything from your repice).

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