Entertaining on the cheap: Become a bunny boiler

What is it with us English and the humble rabbit? While the rest of Europe put this delicate meat at heart of a host of dishes, we seem to shy away from using it.

I blame Watership Down, or maybe it’s the way it’s butchered in the UK which tends to leave unsymmetrical portions of bits and bobs.

Once tasted, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s difficult to understand why rabbit isn’t a regular dinner time feature – it’s tasty, very lean and, if you select wild, has lived out its life in the green and pleasant lands plus it’s very cheap!

In the same town where an organic free-range chicken commands a £17 price tag, the going price for a whole rabbit is just £3.

Cut into pieces by my obliging local butcher, it cooked up with enough to feed 6.

Do the math and give it a try. The recipe below is from The Silver Spoon and I picked it for its simplicity – basically cooks itself while you get on with preparing other stuff for your guests.

What you need
One rabbit.
Crushed garlic glove.
One chopped spring onion.
Sprig of rosemary, chopped.
Few marjoram leaves.
Sprig of fresh lat leaf parsley.
One bay leaf.
Two tablespoons of strong mustard (I used wholegrain).
Slug of olive oil.
Juice of one lemon.
Salt and pepper.
1/3 bottle of wine.

What you do
Rub the portions with olive oil and a generous helping of salt and pepper. Heat remaining oil in a large pan and brown all over.
Add all the other ingredients except the mustard and boil for about 50mins or an hour.
Stir in the mustard and cook for a further ten minutes.

Serve with mashed potato.


And if you still don’t believe me about the virtues of bunny, it’s not just me that enjoyed this recipe – I found this  food blogger has also tried it out too

3 thoughts on “Entertaining on the cheap: Become a bunny boiler

  1. All victims of Disney’s “Bambi”?

    My only issue with rabbit is that it can be a bit too lean, but with a good sauce and maybe some polenta, it’s quite the treat.

    Unfortunately you can’t find it in supermarkets, and that’s a big problem for working-class families who can’t (or won’t) shop on a Saturday.


  2. I’ve done a complete u-turn on rabbit this week.

    The rabbits I’ve bought from our local butcher have always been tough and skinny. Roasted, they’ve been too chewy, in a stew they’ve never really tenderised. Evey now and again, I’d be tempted into buying one and once again we’d look ato our plates and decide that we didn’t really like rabbit.

    I bought yet another rabbit from a different butcher a couple of months ago, stuck it in the freezer and forgot about it.

    Last Saturday, my significant other was out and I was left instructions to cook something she didn’t like whilst she wasn’t out, so i pulled the rabbit out of the freezer and decided to have another go.

    I jointed it up, smothered it with smashed up garlic and rosemary, doused it in lemon juice and olice oil and laid it on a tray. It looked quite pleasingly Italian.

    I roasted it for half an hour and – to my astonishment – served up succulent and juicy chunks of subtley flavoured and gamey meat. It was quite staggeringly good, so much so that I’m ashamed to admit that I personally ate the whole lot.

    Now, convincing the other half to try it again may be more difficult, but I’m converted again…


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