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August 23, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 7:43 am

Until recently I didn't even know there was such a thing as a farmed rabbit. The idea seemed a bit silly to me. Why farm the buggers when they're all over the countryside and in no danger of becoming extinct any time soon? Also, at £10 each, they are very expensive compared to their £3.50 wild counterparts, even though they are a bit bigger.Still, some people kept telling me that farmed rabbit was far easier to cook because the flesh was so tender. The idea of being able to cook bunny in one hour sounded good compared to the three hour slow-braise I usually have to use.    

So last night I tried out farmed rabbit with a walnut and garlic sauce.

Rabbit with walnut and garlic sauce

This thing apparently came from France and, like the last French rabbit I encountered, still had it's head attached. I still don't understand why they do that. Surely there's no use for rabbit head!?

I didn't have time to have the bunny jointed when I bought it and I know from experience that I'm far too weak to do it myself in any sensible timescale. So I had Sir Millar round for dinner and got him to do it. After all, that rabbit would easily feed 2 people. 

It turned out that Andy had a rather morbid fascination with the rabbit carcass and even took pictures of it. Computer scientists are freaks!  DO NOT LOOK IF YOU'RE AT ALL SQUEAMISH! This is the least worrying one of them. There's another closeup of the rabbits head which is too disturbing to post. Somehow that rabbit is looking coquettishly at the camera!

 Fortunately I managed to get the head away from Andy and into the bin before any of the girlies in my flat saw it.

Once it was in bits, the rabbit was squeezed into a casserole dish. I had to get rid of the ribcage because it wouln't fit. I then added chopped garlic, rosemary, thyme and parsley and covered it with some left over chenin blanc topped up with chicken stock. I then baked it for 50 minutes at 200 C. 

It turned out that the rabbit flesh was indeed very tender and came off the bone easily. The only problem was it didn't taste like rabbit.It tasted like chicken. The upside to this was that it had taken on the flavour of the wine and herbs very well, but I was a little disappointed that the usual game flavour wasn't there.

Also, this rabbit was a little too big for my purposes (even though it was the smallest in the shop and I got it on discount :) ). A wild rabbit will feed 2 hungry people. A farmed rabbit will feed 3-4. I can't see myself wanting to cook rabbit for more than two people anytime soon so I'd just end up with leftovers.

The verdict: Wild rabbit wins in my opinion.

The idea fot the walnut and garlic sauce came from this website. Unfortunately it seems to go down on a regular basis, and frequently when I want to use it. It chose to break yesterday just before I started cooking, so the sauce was entirely improvised. It actually turned out very good. It was very garlicky and creamy and I put in lots of chopped parsley. The rabbit was served with wild rice and peas. Here is the full recipe for Rabbit with Walnut and Garlic Sauce.


  1. OMG, that looks so good! Lord, it’s been years since I had rabbit. *sigh*

    (recovered) Garrett

    Comment by ros — September 13, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  2. Came across your blog via Leonie’s.
    Great site here, will be visiting again!


    Comment by mrsnesbitt — August 24, 2006 @ 5:17 am

    Comment by ros — September 13, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

  3. Thanks, Garrett! I was pleased with how it turned out.
    Surely, if you can find things like Bison in Sacramento, you can find rabbit? I’m sure they get everywhere!

    Welcome, D! Thanks for stopping by!

    Comment by ros — September 13, 2006 @ 2:33 pm

  4. Food looks great, but next time someone thinks about eating farmed rabbit, take a look at this first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_rU1jAFvCU&feature=related Bear in mind this is organic rabbit (in America), raised for meat and the film was taken by the farmer himself. Wild rabbit wins on both flavour and welfare.

    Comment by Ben — July 8, 2008 @ 8:49 am

  5. It depends on how the animal was raised. I have raised boar in enclosed areas- and separated the males to solitude- so they do not gore one another as they do in the wild.
    The same goes for stag deer and the does- the males get very aggressive and can seriously injure one another- and die of infection and gangrene- in the wild.
    So- no the wild is not all fluffy and rosey as some may imply. This is why domesticated animal have higher life expectancy and body mass than wild counterpart. A wild cat live for maybe 4 years- the same breed as a domestic cat (felix domesticu vulgaris) will live for up to 25 totally pampered.
    Good farmers treat their animals well- they are less stressed, put on better weight and fetch better price.
    So, please do not retain this ridiculous illusion that magically the forest is much nicer home than the barn. It is not factual.
    But I will agree real pheasant taste much better as they are very fussy eater in the forest.
    Servus from the REAL Germany- Bavaria!

    Comment by Oberstminga — April 11, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

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